We recently started to pick apart the concept of procrastination as a means of understanding it better, and potentially, getting better at not doing it. Last time, we touched on a few ways that procrastination can potentially manifest, so it only made sense to us that we would continue pulling that thread and try to help you identify how you tend to procrastinate more specifically.
The Pitfalls of Procrastination: What is It, and Why Do We Do It?
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s timeless advice, as well as some of the easiest and most tempting advice to ignore. Procrastination is one of those things that we all assume we understand, but we wanted to take a bit of time to explore it in greater detail…and figure out how we can all work to resist it.
Is Your Team Becoming Desensitized to Your Business’ Cybersecurity Precautions?
Password changes, multi-factor authentication, and countless changes in policy and procedure can make daily workflows more and more complicated. Cybersecurity can truly be a pain—a necessary pain, granted—but a pain nevertheless, and one that can gradually lead to burnout if you aren’t careful. Let’s go over how to mitigate the likelihood of it.
One major aspect of your business’ security is how well your team is trained to preserve it. Let’s go over some of the aspects that you need to be sure you address as you educate your team.
Technology is only effective in the hands of the right—or, at least, well-trained—employees. To work toward this goal, you’ll have to ramp up your hiring processes to ensure you garner the interest of the right candidates for the jobs. Nowhere is this more true than for your IT department. Let’s go over how you can make your business an attractive employment option for skilled and innovative technicians.
Did You Mean to Type “LOL”? This Device Will Know If You Meant It!
Whether or not you believe acronyms are an acceptable form of speech, some people might use them habitually or instinctively even for business communications. Of course, they don’t have much place in this context, but habits are hard to break. To address this issue, one innovative thinker has created a tool that can help determine if the acronym “LOL” is sincere or not.
Hot desking—the workplace organization method wherein there are no assigned workstations—has an assortment of pros and cons to it, but many companies are finding the more fiscal benefits to be worth the trade-offs. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of hot desking, and go over a few tips and strategies that will help if you choose to implement it.
With technology playing such a massive role in modern business processes, having someone in the higher ranks to oversee it is a huge advantage. This is the role of the Chief Information Officer—the CIO—which makes them an integral part of the modern C-suite.
So, what kind of thing does the CIO (or your business’ equivalent of it) need to know and consider in order to fulfill their role?
The Metaverse Has Introduced a Complicated Question About Identity
Who are you? While it’s a question that’s been asked in all contexts with all levels of metaphysicality attached—from asking someone their name to prompting someone to follow a path of spiritual self-discovery—the growth of the metaverse once again urges us to ask it in a more literal way. When accessing a conglomeration of various services and platforms, how many identities will each user need to juggle?
Technology Gives You Near-Ubiquitous Access to Employees. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use It
Have you ever gotten a message that just makes your heart sink in your chest? Like, your dread piques the moment you see it? Chances are pretty good that your team members feel that way whenever you send them a particular message, particularly during certain times. Let’s consider why this may be the case, and how you can better manage your communications to more effectively communicate with your team.
How many of your employees do you think hold a second job? This isn’t a particularly outlandish concept, but one thing that has come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its surge of remote work is that some employees hold two jobs at the same time, and not in the way that you might expect.
3 Cybersecurity Statistics to Help Inform Your Business’ Safeguards
When it comes to your business’ cybersecurity, it can be too tempting to operate under the assumption that the few cybersecurity events you hear about on the news are all that happen. Unfortunately, this is far from actual fact. Let’s review some of the statistics that might change your impressions, especially if you hold the aforementioned assumption.
While You Still Need to Protect Yourself from Them, Hackers are Often Victims Themselves
Due to the almost faceless nature of many cybercrime acts, it can be easy to see them as nothing more than the acts themselves, which is of course not true in the slightest. Behind these attacks are people, and where people performing illegal acts are concerned, there will always be concerns about other criminal acts which perpetuate the ones at the surface.
Sova, the Android Banking Malware, is Back and Worse than Before
Even if mobile malware doesn’t have nearly as much of a presence in the cyber threat landscape as other major threats like ransomware variants, it is still just as dangerous under the right circumstances. An Android banking malware called Sova, for example, has returned with a vengeance with additional features to make users’ lives miserable.
Are You Alienating Employees By Forcing Them Back to the Office?
Look, we get it: remote work has become a bit of a topic of contention lately. While employees have been relishing the benefits that remote work offers them, many employers have been doing everything they can to bring their workforce back into the workplace.
Now, it wouldn’t be unfair for you to assume that we would push remote work as a managed service provider because we just so happen to assist businesses in managing it as a part of our services. This is true enough…but we aren’t the only ones with an opinion on the topic.
It doesn’t matter if your workplace is your typical office space or if it is remote. There will always be factors that can contribute to burnout. These struggles are not exclusive to the location of the office, and if left unchecked they can impact work performance, productivity, mental health, and so on. It’s important that you have coping mechanisms and strategies in place to address burnout before it becomes too severe to counter.
Debunking the Myth of Quiet Quitting (and Why It Might Be Confusing)
Quiet quitting…it’s a buzzword that many might misunderstand that has seen increasing virality on social media. Let’s take a few moments to honestly evaluate what quiet quitting really means, and what it means for your business.
User authentication is a critical security feature for a business, specifically because it helps to minimize a significant threat to your business. This is why we’re so adamant that you should require multi-factor authentication wherever it is available… but is a better way to authenticate your users on the horizon?
Emotions Can Run High in the Workplace… Here’s How to Manage Yours
The average person will spend an estimated one-third of their life at work. One third. That’s a lot of time, providing plenty of opportunity to accumulate stress. Over time, these emotions could potentially overwhelm your employees and lead to a breakdown. This is, naturally, harmful to your business, so let’s explore some strategies you can share with your team to help them deal with their workday stresses.
The past few years have made many people understandably antsy about their health and spending extended amounts of time around other people—which can make coming into the office a very, very stressful experience for some. How can you make your office a healthier place so your team can feel a little more secure as they work?
Chances are pretty good that, by this point, you’ve heard of burnout—maybe you’ve even suffered from it before yourself—but, just in case you’re a remarkably lucky human being, it’s the phenomenon where your employees become disengaged to the point where their performance suffers. While this isn’t good in any facet of your business, it can be especially damaging in terms of your security.
Burnout—a psychological process that can impact an employee and lead to stress, exhaustion, depression, and frustration—is a serious threat to any workplace. However, have you ever considered the potential harm that could be done if your IT-focused staff members succumbed to these feelings? Let’s examine the phenomenon of IT burnout, and how we can help fix it.
Are Employees Leaving Because They Might Have to Go Back to the Office?
The past several years have brought about a shift in the workforce, and it’s not one that anyone could have seen coming. More people than ever before are leaving their jobs. How can you keep your employees engaged so they have a minimal chance of leaving their position within your company?
In any business, the capacity to collaborate is critical to success. In order to do so most optimally, it helps to carry out a few preliminary and overarching practices. Let’s go over a few such practices to help bring your team’s collaborative activities together.
Department of Justice Updates Website Accessibility Guidelines: What You Should Know
It’s important to make your website as accessible as possible to your audience. Obviously, you want to accommodate all the different customers and visitors you might have, and if you provide a poor experience for a person, they might not stick around and become a customer. This is nothing new, and over the years there have been discussions about ADA compliance and accessibility for websites. This blog is going to demystify this topic.
Are Your Collaboration Tools Actually Isolating Your Employees?
Many businesses were very suddenly introduced to the capabilities of modern collaboration tools, as… circumstances forced them to either go remote or cease operations for an unknown amount of time. However, while collaboration tools were suddenly a requisite for work, could these tools now be responsible for isolating your team members from one another?
One of the great obstacles many businesses have to remote work is the fact that, well, the team will be remote—not in the office, safely under supervision. This has led many to consider using the webcams installed in their employees’ devices to keep tabs on them. Let’s explore the idea of monitoring your team, and why it probably isn’t a good one.
When we talk about data privacy in a business, the default is to generally think about the data the business has collected and compiled from its clientele. However, that’s just one type of data a business has. There’s also a lot of data that is collected by the business about that business’ employees. So, how well protected is this data?
While remote work has been a relatively new option for many businesses currently using it in their operations, it has already shown considerable benefits. Having said that, it would be incongruous of us if we didn’t also acknowledge one glaring issue that remote work has helped to foster: a sense of disconnect in many of those making use of it.
With so many companies having successfully made use of remote work for so long, there has been some worry that this extended means of operation will have a detrimental impact on company culture. Let’s discuss why this is something to avoid, as well as how to avoid this withering of your team’s collective working relationship.
Do We Really Need a Computer Feature to Tell Us We Need a Break?
Workplace stress has increasingly been focused on as a prescient problem for businesses, with an increased focus on identifying the causes and mitigating the impacts. A recently published patent from Microsoft helps to demonstrate how seriously this is now taken… although it also begs the question: do we really need technology’s help to identify when we feel stressed?
Accessibility to the Internet is a hot topic because, at this point, almost everyone should be afforded Internet access. The fact that some people don’t have access to the Internet puts them at a severe disadvantage. One group that has major problems with accessibility are disabled people. Let’s discuss what can be done about that.
Considering what the past year has been like, the idea that workplace burnout has been a hot topic isn’t all that surprising—even though less time has been spent in many offices than almost any other time to date. Regardless, burnout simply isn’t an office issue, meaning that remote workers are still susceptible to its ill effects.
Let me tell you a deep, dark secret about some of your employees... one that you might be a little surprised to hear:
They aren’t reporting issues to you.
This can snowball into much larger problems. Let’s discuss.
With remote work becoming the norm for many businesses in their efforts to maintain operations in recent months, this potentially company-saving adoption has not been without its drawbacks. Most notably, the mental health of many employees has been impacted as teams have been working together while keeping apart, in large part because the quick conversations that happen throughout the workday have largely been eliminated.
What would you consider to be the biggest threat to your business and its continued operations? Cybercrime? A natural disaster? What if I told you that it was the team members that you have employed—whether they meant to be or not? This is the hard truth that you need to prepare your business to resist.
While this time of year is always huge for online retail, there is likely to be a much larger number of people turning to the Internet for their holiday purchases than usual… and, it would seem, a larger number of people taking security into consideration as they do so. Let’s examine how consumers are taking their data into their own hands and what this means for your business.
Listening to Your Team is a Great Way to Overcome Business Challenges
While it sounds like a term that only applies to the person with the fanciest title in an organization, business leadership is an important quality for people to demonstrate at all levels. However, when you are the boss, it becomes important that you encourage this comprehensive business leadership amongst your team. Here are a few key questions you should be asking regularly to communicate this responsibility to your team members.
Business relationships, especially between you and a service provider or you and a coworker, are crucial to a business’ success. However, maintaining these relationships can be challenging when there’s a good chance that your actions might create more work for another person. Let’s go over why your relationship with IT may be strained, and offer a few tips to help fix it.
If I were to tell you that one variable was responsible for more than 80 percent of cyberattacks, what would you guess that variable was? If you guessed “stolen access credentials,” you’d be correct. The traditional username/password combination may soon be a thing of the past as more tech companies transition to alternative authentication measures.
If your business is like most, you and your team likely rely on a schedule to keep your processes moving along efficiently… while also ensuring that everyone has something to work on at any time. However, this is often easier said than done, which is why there are now cloud-based software options that make your scheduling efforts a little smarter.
Modern society is greatly focused on the virtue of hard work, of productivity. This has led to a kind of unspoken prejudice against breaks in the workplace, that any break that is not earned is the sign of an unproductive employee. As it turns out, the opposite is true. This week, we’re going over how you can turn your breaks into a way to accomplish more in the workplace.
Nowadays, most of us use smartphones; and, yes, probably most of us use them more than is healthy. There are those, however, that have come to depend on their mobile device so much that it completely dominates their lives. As people become even more attached to their phone, the impact this behavior has on their lives becomes more and more detrimental.
Worldwide, we’re a good few months into dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, with many nonessential businesses shutting their doors for the time being. Even those industries that can’t just stop their operations are seeking alternatives, leading many to turn to implementing as much of a remote workforce as possible. Many still have questions about doing so, however, so we want to do our best to help answer some of the common questions these business people might ask about remote work.
At any given time, a business needs to consider its security, but this need only exacerbates when its employees are working remotely. With the coronavirus pandemic still in play, the likelihood is that your employees are in this situation has risen dramatically. In order to maintain your organizational security, you need to consider the many factors that a remote workforce can introduce.
We’ve all heard the title CEO before, business shorthand for Chief Executive Officer. In fact, it may be a title that you hold yourself. While the CEO of a company is undoubtedly important, it is crucial to consider what other c-level roles should also be filled. As a technology-centric company, we often consider roles like the CIO, the CTO, and soon enough, the CDO to be just as important.
As prevalent as cybersecurity threats unfortunately are today, many users tend to overlook major threats that they just aren’t focused on nearly as much: social engineering attacks. Social engineering attacks are just another means for a cybercriminal to reach their desired ends, and therefore needed to be protected against.
Businesses have a variety of communications to manage, including their internal ones. For many, this may be put on the back burner, as they prioritize their operational and sales-encouraging communications. However, internal communications are just as crucial, which is why we’re going over some of your options here - and how you need to use them.
Tip of the Week: Four Policies to Keep Your Business More Secure
Did you know that, of all the vulnerabilities your business has to cyberthreats, your employees are one of the riskiest, simply due to their exposure to your business technology? If your business isn’t secure, it will become incredibly more difficult to serve your clientele. For today’s tip, we’re breaking down a few ways that you and your employees can positively contribute to your business’ security.
Collaboration is a crucial business process in many ways, which means you need to be sure that your entire team is on board and prepared to participate. This week, we’re offering some tips to help you accomplish just this in six simple steps.
Let me ask you something… how would you describe your ideal employee? Many people would rattle off a list of qualifications and personality traits - dedicated, focused, and experienced - with little issue, but seem to never be satisfied with the experience level of their young applicants. However, another group could make a great source of promising candidates: older workers.
There’s a Wealth of Young Talent in Oneonta... Here’s How to Keep Them Around
Here in Oneonta, we have not one, but two institutions of higher education… which means we have quite a bit of talent being developed locally. In 2016, 2,003 degrees were awarded by our local universities - and one of the most popular majors, Business & Managerial Economics, provides a resource that can assist in making educated business decisions. It only makes sense that businesses around Oneonta would want to keep this kind of talent around.
It only makes sense that you would want your staff to know what they are doing as they tackle their daily work responsibilities - otherwise, there isn’t really the chance for very much work to be done. This is why training your staff is so important - it’s practically a prerequisite for productivity.
Planning for your business’ future is a critical activity to carry out, and we aren’t just talking about next quarter. You need to be sure that you are ready to accept that today’s status quo isn’t permanent. Your business or your position should grow, which means that you and your employees are going to need to embrace more responsibility and authority, exploring different roles.
As a business owner, you need to be able to see the fine line between being comfortable with your position and being dangerously complacent. Otherwise, you run the risk of hindering your business’ growth, or even actively sabotaging its success. Let’s review why this is.
How to Maintain Your Employees’ Health for Everyone’s Well-Being
It isn’t often that one hears it discussed in the office, but the human body is an incredible piece of technology. Since your employees are so key to your business’ success, you’d benefit from doing everything you could to help your employees to take good care of their physical health.
It’s the holiday season, and shoppers are flocking to stores to find the perfect gift for anyone: the gift card. However, these handy little plastic rectangles may not be so perfect after all. This year, they’ve been a key component to a business email compromise scam that has been popular in the past few months.
It can be easy, with all the threats covered in the news, to assume that the biggest dangers to your business all come from the outside. This is a dangerous mistake, as there are plenty of vulnerabilities that originate from within your organization, making it easier for outside threats to come in, if not being bigger threats in and of themselves. Below, we’ll review some of the biggest, mostly internal dangers that your business may face.
In light of all the data leaks and vulnerabilities that have been brought to light over the past few years, network security has to be a priority for every business. One problem many organizations have is that while they are protecting their network and infrastructure from threats outside their company, the real threats are actually coming from inside. Today, we’ll look at four ways threats can cause havoc from inside your organization.
When you sign up for any service online, you will be asked to create a username and a password. Today, we will be going over the purpose of a username and provide you with some best practices on how to create a username that works to your benefit.
QikPad is an online collaboration resource that enables users to produce, sustain and customize data in a collaborative atmosphere. Making use of author color codes, users can readily determine the root of modifications by identifying the particular color assigned to a specific employee. Best of all, the application is free and does not require any sort of sign up.
For small and medium businesses, attempting to fix your own computer issues can do more harm than good. It may seem like having to pay for IT services is an unnecessary expense, especially when you have a somewhat tech savvy employee who seems to know what they are doing. It may be an expense now, but it will save you thousands of dollars in time and money in the long run.
We've all been there; dealing with long, annoying tech support, hoping to make that extended warranty worth while. Should you eventually speak to a human, you run the risk of running smack into a language barrier. Then, there is always the inevitable 'Did you turn off your computer and turn it back on?' Would you really be still on hold if you hadn't tried everything you could think of?
Do you work in an office and sit in front of a desk all day? Chances are, you have experienced back pain or tight shoulders. Maybe you get headaches from staring at the computer all day. Well today we will discuss some tips on how to reduce the negative effects that office work can have on your body. Working these tips into your day can have a dramatic effect on your mental and physical health and you will feel all the better for it.
Social Media is a far-reaching, extremely valuable tool for advertising and marketing. That is, well... until it isn't. Being able and prepared to handle negative online criticism can be the difference between a small but unfortunate event your company can learn from and 'irreparable damage that your company may never recover from.'
If you use Microsoft OneNote for jotting down quick meeting notes, phone calls, and personal memos, you've probably had information you needed to share with other co-workers in your OneNote Notebook. This quick walk-through will show you how to set up a Shared Notebook that others can access and modify.
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it's a good time to step back and look at ways to rejuvenate your day-to-day operations and do some spring cleaning. These practices won't cover dusting up cobwebs but will offer a few practices to improve your overall IT.
The hype is still strong for Windows 10, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great operating system that has the potential to change the way your business performs its daily duties. However, the monthly desktop operating system usage statistics released by NetMarketShare hint that Windows 10 adoption is starting to slow down and that many users are simply opting to keep using Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. What gives?
The ramifications of social media have extended well beyond just a tool used to keep in touch with friends. From games, to advertising, to even aiding in the overthrow of Middle Eastern governments, social media has added a new and powerful dynamics to the way people use technology. For better or for worse, social media also adds new and interesting dynamics to the most social part of our lives, our families.
Perouse the YouTube comments on any popular video and it will appear like a teenybopper is texting a neo nazi. The level of stupidity seen in the comments of YouTube is the ultimate proof of human idiocy. Finally, after years of putting up with people's hate and ignorance, YouTube is cracking down on comments!
Mobile devices give you the ability to always be connected with the virtual world. It may seem like this is great for productivity because you feel like more work is getting done; but could it be that constant connectivity is wearing us down? In light of the stresses caused from being connected, it's good to unplug and recharge your brain.
Marketing is not done in a bubble. Instead, it requires input from outside resources. When it comes to effective marketing, communication is key. Having a computer network that acts as a communications hub for every department is one the best ways to help your marketing team.
You can do almost anything with a smartphone, except type a quick and accurate text message on a four inch screen. Even the best typist struggles with hitting the correct keys on a digital keyboard, and it doesn't help if you have a little extra mass on your fingers. A new app called Fleksy promises to cure the woes of smartphone typing.
It's a digital revolution! Everyone is enjoying their new technology...and then there's the sad fax machine, still hanging around, printing off faxes, and reminiscing about the good old days before there was this new fad called the Internet. Fax machines put a damper on the whole digital revolution vibe. It's high time to retire them and start saving money!
The whole purpose of having a network infrastructure is to allow different users to access and share needed files and applications. With your data centralized to a server, you will need to have a system in place that allows certain people up-to-date permissions to access needed files from every computer. This is where Active Directory comes in.
Have you ever felt like your long commute is draining the life out of you? If you commute long distances to work, then there may be something to the phrase, “My commute is killing me.” Research has shown commuters die younger than those who live closer to their work. This is yet another reason to work from home.
With all the attention that hackers receive, you would think that they are solely responsible for every network security breach, but the truth of the matter is that most damages to company networks are due to negligence. Here are the four most common IT security oversights that can lead to major damages to your network.
Are you enjoying the benefits of using multiple monitors? Once you have experienced the power of using more than two or more monitors, it is Diffficult to go back to using just one. As great as multiple monitors are, they can be distracting and consume extra power. Diff Displays is a new tech that takes care of both of these issues.
In business, the more ways that you can find to communicate your message to your customers, the further your reach will be, which will ultimately increase your bottom line. This reach-to-profit formula works even better when your communication tools are affordable and can save you operating expenses. A webinar is a great communications tool that will both save you money and make you money.
Today, your employees are more and more technologically empowered. With the consumer electronics market teaming with amazing gadgets and high-end devices, cool tech is no longer reserved for fancy geek toys. With employees bringing in their own smartphones and tablets, mobile security becomes a big concern for small businesses.
"Almost 40% of enterprise network bandwidth is being consumed by recreational or non-business applications [facebook, linkedin, youtube]"
~Blue Coat Systems Survey More companies are blocking video streaming sites such as YouTube and Netflix to improve productivity at work..
Technology today makes it easy for businesses to let employees work from home. Offering secure remote access gives employees the flexibility to work on the road, at events, or from home as if they were at their desks in the office. Is this good for small businesses?
We talk a lot about smartphones and tablets as business tools, but these days more and more people are using high-end devices personally. It's likely that they are bringing these devices in to work, and often using them to become more productive at their job. We call this Bring-Your-Own-Device, or BYOD, and it isn't a bad thing. The catch is managing security risks when users are using their own personal gadgets.
Everyone here at Directive would like to wish our clients a happy and safe Halloween! We'd like to share a couple computer and tech support horror stories to set today's spooky mood! Get out your flashlights and gather around the campfire for these chilling tales that could happen to any small business.