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.
2021 is almost here, and if your business isn’t using technology to its fullest capability, you’re missing out on some considerable opportunities. Let’s go over a few winning strategies that you should adopt in the coming year.
We’re getting close to the end of 2020. Finally? Has it been a long year for you? Has it gone by really fast? I think every other day I have a different opinion about it.
Either way, it’s time to look at 2021. A fresh start, a clean slate. I think if there is one big mindset all business owners and C-levels need to take into consideration for 2021, it’s their people.
PDFs have been around for a while and they have become an extremely useful file format for business. One of the best features of the PDF is that it is useful for securing signatures so that contracts can be handled over the Internet. Today, we’ll go over how you go about signing a PDF in Windows.
Of all the contentious topics in the workplace, employee monitoring is among the most divisive. As an authority figure in your business, it is only natural that you would want to make sure that your team is working diligently—especially as they are working remotely. That being said, there are some lines that cannot be crossed you should be aware of. Let’s discuss the concept of monitoring your employees and what cannot be done.
As technology has become smarter, artificial intelligence has evolved into a more and more applicable solution that businesses of all sizes can use. Let’s take a few minutes to consider the various ways in which AI can be used to support businesses.
If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, it is very likely that you have already heard us talk about the importance of a comprehensive data backup strategy. Recent events have made such preparations no less important for you to have in place. Let’s go over some of the key steps that you need to undergo.
Email—it’s a business tool that we all use and rely on, but (if we’re being honest) it can be a pain to manage properly. Unfortunately, this can also depreciate the value of the solution to its users. To help prevent these problems, we wanted to share a few tips to assist you with your email management.
As your employees go about their workdays, it is important that they do so with the resources they’ll need to remain optimally productive… and that these resources are in the best condition for them to do so. While this is often an overlooked consideration, this means that their computer needs to be clean and fully functional. Let’s go over a few best practices to follow when it comes to keeping a workstation clean enough to work optimally.
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.
Chances are your business has been affected by COVID-19. For those companies who had to shut down their operations, and are in the process of opening back up; or, the business that moved operations out of their location and had their employees work remotely and are recalling their employees, this situation is unprecedented. This month, we thought we would take a look at some of the factors surrounding this process, and how they will affect your staff.
As businesses of all kinds either actively reopen or find themselves swiftly approaching that point, the ongoing status of COVID-19 guarantees that these organizations must carefully evaluate how to proceed. With numbers rising at the time of this writing, it is important that you establish the means to protect your employees from infection and illness.
Each week, we try to provide some tips to help you out in some way. This time, we want to take a somewhat different approach and instead present you with two potential scenarios that your business could encounter—one with and one without a backup solution in play—and let you see the benefit that our tip this week (protect your business with a backup solution) can present.
Disasters, at least in the business sense, have long been underestimated. While you always, always, hear about disasters that are often seen, there are some (as we are witnessing now) that can go under the radar until they strike. Regardless of the nature of the disaster, however, you need to be prepared to continue both your operations and your communications to some degree.
Right now, more business than ever is now conducted over video chat. You may have found yourself using it as a tool as you work remotely. However, while these conversations may help keep your team connected to one another, the experience certainly isn’t the same as what would be found in the office conference room. Here, we’re sharing a way to get rid of one of the biggest hurdles in remote collaboration.
Companies around the world have or are finding the need to send their workers home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. For many business owners, managing your staff remotely is a brand new paradigm. Here’s what you need to know.
There is no denying that a business’ security--notably, its access control--is absolutely crucial to consider. Here, we’re offering a few tips to help you improve your business’ security through improvements to your access controls and their policies.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been a major global health concern over the past couple of months. At this point, it is clear that this disease could have serious impacts on the workplace. We wanted to provide a brief rundown of good workplace and network health practices, as well as a few pointers on how you can handle health-based employee absences.
On a Windows machine, look at your taskbar, near the Start button and the search function. The next little icon, the one that almost looks like a bit of film, is the Task View button, the button that (among other purposes) allows you to create and manage virtual desktops. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use this handy feature, starting with why you might want to.
A full week into the new year, have you resolved to make any improvements to your business? In light of all the resolutions that may (or may not) have been broken by now, we decided to share a few resolutions you could put into place to improve your business and its processes.
Emails are a wonderfully useful solution, and quite possibly one of the most commonly used ones in the workplace today. However, not everyone is using every capability that their email solutions offer - and it has led to a lot of time being wasted in the workplace. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to help cut back on the time spent organizing your emails.
One of the most - if not the most - critical resource your business relies upon is your workforce. Your employees are what keep your operations, well, operational. As a result, they are one of your most important resources to maintain as well. They are human beings, and without the correct treatment and management, even your best employee could burn out.
Every summer, there is a new crop of recent graduates seeking employment opportunities. This is especially true here in Oneonta. Area businesses should be paying close attention to these young graduates and trying to entice them into employment, as they are likely to have fostered precisely the skills these businesses are seeking.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.
While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, your business’ technology doesn’t last forever. At some point in the future, you will have to upgrade away from your current hardware, which, regrettably, is not as simple as it sounds. Here are some tips to help you out during this difficult process.
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.
Whenever you decide to implement something in your information technology strategy, you accept some level of risk. Understanding and managing this risk is crucial to your business’ success. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to manage your IT risks and what your options are.
A business’ IT solutions aren’t the kind of thing that you can worry about once and never touch again - this is why manufacturers and developers are always sending out upgrades. However, you also need to have a strategy ready before you go to implement these upgrades. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to put this strategy together.
Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are fairly definitive - do this, then do that, then do the other thing - and require a set order of operations. There also happen to be a lot of these processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented so you and your employees can refer to this documentation later. Here, we’ll offer a few tips on how to best document a task.
The holiday season is here, and the spirit of giving is in the air. Why not give the IT professional in your life a few things that they’ve been wishing for all year? Here, we’ve compiled a list of things you can give them, some of which will cost you (and your business) nothing.
It can be easy to underestimate the importance of monitoring your solutions, to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, the benefits of persistent monitoring were recently thrust into the spotlight, when 24 spammers were arrested in October by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell for impersonating Microsoft support staff and duping American citizens.
The modern worker (or really, the modern person) spends a lot of their time looking at a computer screen. Considering this, it only makes sense that their screens and the items displayed on them are arranged in a way that they like. Our tip covers a few shortcuts to help you arrange and view the items on your workstation a little quicker.
We all know how to use the Internet (you’re here now, after all), but there are a lot of hidden secrets to it that far fewer people know. Today, we’ll let you in on five of them to try and make some basics a little easier.
There’s nothing quite like signing off on your first business space. It’s like officially saying, “My business is up and running. Visit my office today!” What’s even more exciting, however, is when your organization is growing so quickly that your business space becomes cramped or too small to grow unhindered. Either way, the way you set up your office is going to be an important part of running your business.
Email is a particular favorite attack vector of many who would do wrong by your business, as it is easily one of the most used communications in most businesses today. Do your employees know how large of a responsibility they have to your business’ security just by using email? In order to prevent unfortunate security blunders, you need to make sure you and your employees know a few best practices when it comes to handling email securely.
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.
What’s your reaction to your mobile device beeping at you? If you’re the kind of person that drops everything to see what it says, then you’re probably way more distracted at work than you should be. It’s a bad habit to look at your phone every minute or two, but with hard work, habits can be broken. Here are three actions you can take to minimize workplace distractions so you can be more productive.
Today’s workplace productivity has reached a peak, but thanks to this enhanced amount of work, the office environment can often feel hectic and stressful. This usually leads to workers skipping breaks just so that they don’t fall behind. While this maintains the semblance of productivity, it can often lead to a significant decrease in creativity and physical health.
Few people like going to meetings. Yet, there seems to be no way around them. The key to having a successful meeting is to run it as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, according to a recent study by Blue Jeans Network, meetings are becoming much less productive.
Putting together an IT budget is an exceptionally tricky procedure. Every year presents unique technical challenges that need to be addressed, but the slightest miscalculation can be detrimental to an IT budget. Here are five tips to give your organization some breathing room when it comes to planning out next year’s IT expenses.
Revising documents is a task that can take forever, especially when multiple people have to make edits and suggestions. Before you know it, the sidebar will be filled with comments and the text will be so drastically changed that it will feel like you didn’t write it in the first place. In these instances, it might help to view the original document and the new one side by side. Here are two great tools that let you do so.
It’s a best practice to avoid placing drinks and food near the computer, but for the busy business owner, this practice is often ignored in preference to getting more work done. While it’s typically extremely unhealthy to forsake your lunch break to continue working, some workers might feel that it’s impossible to get all of their work done without doing so. Inevitably, this leads to everyone’s worst nightmare: spilling a drink, most likely coffee or some kind of soda, on your keyboard.
Everybody loves a vacation from work, but nobody enjoys the stress of catching up when returning from said vacation. It doesn’t have to be this way. By taking a few precautions, you can avoid ever again having to say, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
One of the biggest challenges of running a business is attracting and retaining quality workers. To accomplish this, you’re going to need more than an old-fashioned “help wanted” ad. These days, you will need to offer what quality employees are looking for--a flexible workplace environment.
As a business owner, you walk a fine line between boss and friend. While you want to be approachable and have a company culture that’s friendly, you can’t have your employees be your closest friends. Being too close to your staff will blur your authority, breed favoritism, and make it difficult to fire people; but not being friendly will make for a cold working environment. How do you manage this social dynamic?
The leaders of today’s business world are staring down a problem unlike anything they’ve seen before; their workforce, or rather, engaging them in their work. A study by Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends shows that a meager 13 percent of employees in the world are legitimately engaged in their work. That’s a pretty small percentage, and to make matters worse, over a quarter of the world’s workforce are disengaged to the point their negativity will impact others.
Sometimes you just don’t know what to do, and you don’t know where to turn for help. You don’t want to ask your competitors for anything, because they don’t need to know your weak points, and you feel crushed under the pressure of day-to-day operation. Maybe a hand once in a while isn’t such a bad thing.
Every business owner knows what’s expected of them when it comes time to onboard a new hire. When the training videos are all watched and the new employee is lined up to kick butt and take names, is that when your job as overseer ends, or is there more that you can do to get more productivity out of your staff?
When it comes down to it, your employees are being paid for their time spent at work. Business operates on the principle of “time is money,” which means that every minute wasted cuts into your bottom line. If you’re looking to squeeze the most productivity out of your employees, then there are technologies available that can take back those precious minutes.
When a hard-working business owner such as yourself gets going, you keep working until you’ve got nothing left to give. This is commonly known as “office burnout,” and isn’t healthy for anyone, or anything; especially your business and office relationships.
Are your eyes constantly glued on your email inbox during the workday? It’s not bad to keep up with what’s going on in the office, but a recent study has linked constant email-checking to higher stress levels. This probably isn’t surprising to some, but some folks, like the researchers at the University of British Columbia, claim that there’s a maximum number of times to check your email throughout the day to minimize stress in the workplace.
Sometimes you feel exhausted when you get out of work, but you have no idea why. It might be because you’re straining your eyes too much by staring at the computer screen. Or, maybe it’s your back that’s killing you, and even moving slightly is a pain. Perhaps it’s carpal tunnel ravaging the nerves in your wrist. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s safe to say that you could use a workstation overhaul.
How are you coming on those New Year’s resolutions? If you’re already putting off doing them due to a case of getting bit by the procrastination bug, then you might be feeling down on yourself and thinking about giving up. But, did you know that doing something a little later might actually be a better way to get something done?
When it comes to the workplace, people want more than they used to. It used to be all about the salary and decent working conditions, but that has significantly changed in the past decade. In order to attract the best talent and stay ahead of the competition, you want to provide optimal working conditions when possible. Thankfully, by providing your team with a few accommodations, it doesn’t have to be difficult for everyone to enjoy their workday.
Everyone is well aware of how mobile technology is changing everything. Therefore, it's a matter of time before we see new tech drastically change the office layout. This is what's happening in forward-thinking offices with a trend called "hoteling." If your business enjoys mobile technology and you want to get the most collaboration out of your staff, then hoteling is right for you.
How familiar are you with the IT equipment owned by your business? If you don't keep detailed records of your equipment and enact security measures and policies, then you're making it easy for theft to occur. We've written a lot about protecting your business from data theft, but it's equally important that you take precautions to safeguard your stuff.
They say that home is where the heart is, and thanks to easily accessible remote networking tools, home can also be where your work is! One evidence of just how much employees love working from home comes from a recent survey of office workers where 25% admitted that they would take a reduction in salary if it meant they could work from home.
There seem to be some commonly unspoken rules about the appropriateness of using certain technology throughout the course of the workday. You may have an IT practices policy in your office, but for some of us, we need to infer proper times, places, and limits of our technology use. Here are some courtesy tips for tech use throughout your day at the office.
One IT problem that you may have heard about is server noise. A server unit is a noisy piece of equipment because it comes with multiple fans used to keep the machine cool. One big reason why servers are banished to their own room is because of all the noise they make. Here's what you can do to quiet your servers.
Have you ever been frustrated by not being able to edit information locked up inside of a PDF? Now, with Microsoft Word 2013, the issue is resolved, making it super easy to edit text, tables, and graphics within a PDF file.
One of the biggest time wasters we all face is sorting through our email inbox. This is a tedious task made worse because you have to sort through emails from the same sources every day, like newsletters and social media updates. Here's a tip to help you better organize your incoming Gmail messages.
The way you treat customers, handle their feedback, and serve their needs can be the most powerful selling point of your business. Customer satisfaction comes down to the way customers feel after they've made a purchase. Your customer service policy can either make or break your business. Here's how to bulletproof your customer service policy.
When experiencing a computer problem, what is the first thing you do to troubleshoot it? If you are an experienced PC user, then you will try turning your machine on and off again. Your computer's restart button can feel like a magic wand that takes care of any issue, but do you know how this fix-it wizardry works?
If you are still running your business or home PC on Windows XP, then it's vital that you upgrade to a newer OS. Yes, your decade-old Windows XP system may be working just fine, and therefore, you may not feel the urgency to upgrade, but you will feel the heat next year when Microsoft stops supporting its popular operating system.
Wouldn't you like to be more productive at work? For most of us, increased productivity means making more money, spending more time on what matters most (family, friends, etc.), and simply just feeling better. Many of us seek to increase productivity with elaborate and complicated methods. Here are five ways to increase your productivity, starting today.
As a business owner, your position of leadership is crucial to the success of your company. If you've been appointed a leadership role, you are undoubtedly making key decisions and setting the tone of your office culture. You want to be a leader worth following.
We all dread that moment. Whether it was a power surge, an accidental water spill, or a swift roundhouse kick out of frustration, your business computer is dead and needs to be replaced. While no computer will last forever, you can extend your PC's life with proper care. Here are tips that will boost your computer's lifespan.
Are you looking to enhance your business with new mobile technologies to give your workforce the competitive edge? If so, then we recommend that before you go out and purchase new mobile devices, you first need to understand the technology requirements of your organization. Here are four crucial needs you will want to consider.
Technology that allows employees to work remotely from home is easy for businesses to implement. Yet, many employers are hesitant to setup their staff with a remote solution because trust is an issue. A webcam is a great tool for remote sessions because it allows employees to prove that they using company time appropriately.
According to a recent survey by Experian Marketing Services, the average American spends approximately 58 minutes per day on their smartphone. Those of us who are gadget lovers may respond by saying, "One hour, is that all?" A device taking up one hour per day has huge implications with how we both live and do business.
The mouse may look like a helpful piece of technology, but be warned; it's actually a tool of destruction. If your mouse has been your sidekick for years of heavy computer usage, then your wrist might be in danger of carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes, it's nice to take a break from the mouse and use your keyboard to navigate Microsoft Office.
We often talk about the need to back up your data, but did you know that it is also a best practice to back up your hardware? Backing up your hardware works differently than data backup; whereas data backup involves network devices and a cloud, backing up your hardware is a simple matter of having extra computer components on your premise.
With office work, a lack of physical activity is often coupled with extra calories from mindless snacking. Office snacks are great for your appetite, but bad for your waistline. These extra calories require extra physical activity to burn off. If you understand how much exercise a little snack will ask of you, then you might think twice about eating it.
If you are working on a document that is several pages long, then you know the frustration of getting lost in a sea of text. Often overlooked by the casual user, Macros are great productivity tools that can be utilized for several handy tasks, including giving you the ability to bookmark your work areas in a Word document.
Hopefully, you have a list of personal items that you regularly clean. Obvious belongings that need a good scrubbing are things like bed sheets, dishes, and your bathroom floor. If your computer is not on your cleaning chore list, then it needs to be. A clean computer is a happy computer, and not disgusting like a dirty one.
When it comes to listening to music while getting work done, it seems like you can either do it or you can't. Some office workers need absolute silence to get work done. Other people can turn up the volume, tune out the world, and still think clearly. Coffitivity is an audio app that brings balance between the right and left brain.
Typically, the only way that spaghetti improves the office is by providing a low cost meal during a lunch break. As it turns out, spaghetti can be used as more than lunch; spaghetti charts are a great productivity tool that can improve your workflow, eliminate transport waste, and save you money.
Is your web browser's home page looking drab and boring? Do you wish that you could change it to something fresh and exciting but you just don't know how to do it? Introducing Home Page Settings! By using Home Page Settings, you can give your Web Browser that fresh look you have always wanted, and the best part is that it's free!
Procrastinators of the world unite... tomorrow! Many people who feel the constant and crushing pressure of deadlines, and who have a habit of being late with deadlines, would identify themselves as procrastinators. Stanford professor John Perry has discovered a method to use procrastination as a tool to get more done, he calls this structured procrastination.
Your computer network is vital to your business continuity. Every component plays an important role, but it is your server that is the heart of your network, pumping data to all of your company's computers. You take care of your heart, are you taking care of your server?
Have you ever closed an application and accidently hit 'Don't Save'? Poof. In one forgetful moment all of your progress is gone and your stomach turns into a giant knot. Before you go out and do something crazy, like forsake technology and modern civilization, you will first want to see if Windows was nice and automatically saved you a copy.
The Seinfeld Productivity Calendar is a simple way to coax you into accomplishing your goals in a very primal, if not OCD, kind of way. It's named after its creator, Jerry Seinfeld, who is known for much bigger things. Jerry Seinfeld is not only a sophisticated actor/comedian, but he also has a very interesting way to get things done.
As your vacation winds down, the reality of being away for a week or two begins to sneak up on you. Knowing that you have a full inbox of back messages may put a damper on your relaxed mood. If you planned ahead, then you would have used an auto responder to automatically notify everyone that you were away.
Unless you are an English major, writing a well thought-out message without any spelling or grammatical errors can be a challenging task. There is not yet a technology that will transform a couple of bullet points into a detailed thesis paper, but Microsoft Word does include helpful tools that will improve the spelling and grammar for any aspiring writer.
Since the dawn of technical support, it has been a running cliche that when you need to call customer service, especially technical support, you are going to wait. And wait. It starts with a clunky automated phone system that sends you in circles, followed by a triathlon of phone hand offs where you answer a bunch of basic questions repetitively. Pretty annoying, right?
The concept behind company time is simple enough: you are employed, and therefore expected to do whatever you agreed upon while "on the clock." To be fair, you are given a few breaks to attend to personal matters; yet, as easy to grasp as this seems, the average employee wastes two hours of company time per day on the internet.
Microsoft Office 2013 will be released during Q1 of 2013. The previews we have seen look promising, Office 365 has cloud-based services and touch screen features that work well with the new Windows 8 OS. We will highlight a few of these upgrades by looking at five new features with OneNote 2013.
What feelings are conjured up by the phrase, "file not found?" If you are unable to locate an important file on your PC, you are going to have a bad time. Insult is added to injury when you cannot find a file that you created because you do not remember what you named it.
Spending hours every day staring at a computer monitor can cause strain to your eyeballs. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) affects 50 to 90 percent of computer workers physically with headaches, eye twitching, and physical fatigue. CVS can decrease productivity and even increase work errors. To help alleviate eye strain, Windows has an easy-to-use feature called ClearType.
The smartphone ownership rate for American adults increased to 46% in 2012, this according to a study by Pew Research. This study does not include other mobile devices like tablets, laptops, and notebooks, but the use of these devices is also growing, with worldwide sales for just smartphones and tablets projected to hit 1.2 billion in 2013.
Every business is striving to grow, but with growth comes new challenges like hiring new staff. If you have a growing business model, then you likely achieved this by adopting smooth procedures. The same principle applies to growing your staff; and with solid on boarding procedures in place, you can get more performance out of your staff.
Modern technology makes it easy to get things done from anywhere, allowing employees to work while on the go. One of the caveats of working while traveling is keeping focused. Unlike sitting in the office where an employee can focus, traveling puts workers in busy airports, coffee shops, or poolside at a hotel. Here are a few tips to help you focus on tasks while on the road.
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.
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?
For those who find themselves struggling with resizing windows and flipping between documents and getting lost in a sea of open applications on their desktop, connecting a second monitor to your workstation can double your screen real estate.
Whether you are going completely paperless or just want to send digital copies of paper documents, there are a lot of solutions out there for quickly scanning a doc and converting it to PDF for easy archiving and emailing, but most of these devices aren't exactly portable. Here's a quick way to digitize documents with the camera on your Android smartphone.
Want to send out a large number of documents that are almost the same aside from a few specific areas? One example would be a letter to all of your existing clients about a new product or service, but you want each letter to address the recipient's name and company. This looks like a job for the mail merge!