Tips to Help Boost Smartphone Productivity

a woman sitting at a desk using a cell phone

Smartphones have become a significant part of people’s everyday lives. One smartphone can have everything a person may need to get themselves through the day, from maps to planners. Over the years, smartphones have become tools to help boost productivity for people in their personal lives. In addition to while they are in the workplace.

Companies have begun to realize the potential of integrating smartphones as a tool. This is to help translate productivity into profitability in their business. Using smartphones can work against your business if you don’t implement the right policies to get your employee’s smartphone usage to work for you and minimize distractions. Here are some tips you can use in your business to effectively use smartphones to boost productivity and reduce distractions.

Increase Collaboration and Communication

Smartphones are an effective business tool. You can utilize cloud-based applications to help employees complete tasks and communicate quickly from wherever they work. With smartphones, employees can work better with their teams by improving communication and collaboration. Employees can have email, productivity apps, and communication tools installed on their devices. This will increase productivity and allow them to easily connect with customers and colleagues. 

Limit Smartphone Notifications

One of the drawbacks of allowing smartphone usage within your business is they have the potential to be incredibly distracting. To optimize productivity, control notifications by limiting them when possible. Then there will be few distractions to take you or your employees away from their tasks. Encourage or require your team to disable notifications from unnecessary apps to minimize the number of disruptions during hours when they need to focus the most.

Reduce Digital Clutter on Smartphone

A smartphone designated for work should have limited applications that can potentially waste time and not be directly used for work purposes. However, this more applies to smartphones that are company-owned devices given out to employees. Many companies implement a mobile device manager or MDM to limit the ability to download apps on devices and ensures enough space is available on the device for essential functions. 

Use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

Issuing company-owned devices can be a major cost and allowing your employees to use their personal smartphones for work purposes. Employees are likely comfortable using their personal devices and are likely to be more productive using them for work tasks. Allowing employees to bring their own devices for work purposes will require clear policies to ensure employees know how to use their devices when on the clock correctly. 

Smartphones have come a long way and, when used with the right tools, can help boost workplace productivity. Your business can be the most productive by using an MDM to ensure your employee’s usage of smartphones is working for you to help your organization. 

To learn more about how we can help you get started with mobile device management and smartphone productivity, reach out to 4 Corner IT at 954.474.2204.

AI Can Serve a Valuable Role in Small Businesses

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The world of artificial intelligence has vastly grown over the last few years. As advances are made, companies have found helpful ways to incorporate this innovation into their business technology. Thus, making business operations more efficient. What’s even better is that as AI develops, it becomes more accessible to small businesses that can greatly benefit from the technology as well. Let’s discuss how a small business might put artificial intelligence to use. Then, what it can do for their operations and growth.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

While the term AI is thrown around a lot in the technology world, many people are unaware of what it actually means. Artificial Intelligence is much more than Siri, Alexa, and cognitive thinking robots. 

AI is basically any software that is designed to follow similar patterns as our own learning and reasoning processes do in order to solve problems. It is our attempt to mimic our own cognitive processes.

How Can Today’s Small Businesses Use AI?

Enhancing Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence systems can help greatly in improving your office’s cybersecurity. They do this by tracking patterns and alerting whenever there is a break in said pattern. It will get to know your employee’s regular daily activities, used devices and applications, and times of activity. Therefore, it can alert you if there is any activity out of the ordinary like an attempted login in the middle of the night or attempts to override security measures. These sort of alerts can prevent cybercriminals gaining access to crucial information, reducing the possibility of a cyberattack.

Optimizing Customer Service

As we know, having prompt and helpful customer service is essential to any businesses’ overall customer satisfaction, but this can often result in valuable employee time being used to answer the same common questions over and over again. However, with AI you can automate these customer service actions that don’t require a live individual, saving your employees time and giving customer the quick and accurate help that they need. Automation also helps collect information from customers that your business could benefit from tracking.

Improving Marketing Efforts

One of the most important elements of a good marketing strategy is tracking and reading analytics. This process is very repetitive and time consuming for employees to complete, as there is often a lot of data and insights generated. Luckily innovation in AI can improve this process through automation. Artificial Intelligence now has the capabilities to take over these organizational and analytical processes on the business’s behalf, allowing you to easier identify which of your marketing efforts is most beneficial, and where your strategy needs improvement. 

Artificial Intelligence is More Accessible than Ever! 

If you, like many, didn’t realize that artificial intelligence may be something accessible to your small business, learn more AI and other business technology capabilities today! Give 4 Corner IT a call at 954-474-2204 to discuss what your options may be.

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Employees Do Their Best Work When They are Comfortable

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If employees can remain productive for extended periods of time, their business tends to enjoy rapid growth. Unfortunately, this high level of productivity is not always sustainable, and it eventually slows for a variety of reasons. However, if you can make sure your employees are comfortable, then they will be more likely to maintain a manageable level of productivity. 

Most businesses have historically given employees enough to do their jobs, and that was that. This trend has slowly dissipated over the years as employers have become more cognizant of the benefits of making their employees more comfortable. Here are three ways you can increase employee comfort and, likewise, their productivity. 

Give them Hope Enough to Focus on Work 

People don’t usually leave their jobs because they don’t like the people, they don’t get enough time off, and they can’t stand the company culture. They leave because they will find someone who will pay them more or give them the edge they need to jumpstart their career. Just about all businesses want to see their employees work their way up in the company, but with higher turnover rates, it can become evident that workers would rather jump ship in certain scenarios than wait for these opportunities to become available. 

Employees will often find themselves stressed out or flustered over things external to their work, so the less stress they associate with the office, the better. While you might not be able to pay them in accordance with their talents in all cases, you can give them a sense of fulfillment by empowering them to work on projects that tap into their unique skill sets. Most people like being challenged just enough to keep themselves focused on the task at hand, and if they are focused, they’ll be less likely to leave for your competition. 

Extend More than Fringe Benefits 

While it’s certainly nice to provide snacks and drinks for your employees, it’s often the bigger-ticket items that will make the biggest difference in your workforce’s lives. It might be nice to provide them with Swiss Rolls, but when they can’t go to the dentist to address the cavities from uncontrollably eating said Swiss Rolls, it creates a serious point of contention for them. Do your best to provide adequate health and wellness programs, retirement programs, debt relief, and even student loan repayment if possible. 

Many of today’s workers don’t have the above; they only have their paychecks to rely on, and it is a major stressor. This is why they may seek out other opportunities. If you can invest in your staff beyond their compensation, such as by providing them with working technology and investing in their wellness, you can significantly reduce your turnover rate. 

Provide a Pleasant or Flexible Work Experience 

The pandemic has brought about a mindset shift in the modern worker. They now realize just how much time they are investing into their employer, and this doesn’t sit well with many of them. If you can give your team the ability to spend more time with their family or give them time to accomplish their goals outside of the office, you might find that they are more comfortable in their employment with you.  

Remember, not everyone can work remotely, and many people simply don’t (or won’t) want to. While remote operations can help in a certain capacity, it’s important to keep in mind what can and cannot be accomplished through remote operations. In cases where remote operations may not be feasible, you can instead adopt a flexible working schedule or hybrid workplace. 

How can your business make its employees more comfortable? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more introspective and thought-provoking business ideas. 

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In-House or Remote, Automated Tools Bring Value

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Automation, as a concept, is a valuable capability. Whether an employee works remotely or is in the office for regular operations. Indeed, many businesses are now encouraging their team members to do both. Let’s review how a hybrid workplace can have a positive experience with automation in place… and why it’s essential for security’s sake.

What Can Be Accomplished Through Automation?

There are many business processes that automation can make more efficient. Simply by removing the limitations inherent in human involvement (not to mention that the human worker can spend their time on other tasks).

For example, data can be processed much more quickly than an employee could ever do manually. Thus, making automation an excellent asset for that reason alone. Of course, this is far from the only advantage that automation can provide to your hybrid workforce. Another primary reason to use automated solutions is for the sake of your security.

Automated Security Brings Benefits to Remote and In-House Team Members

Automatic Security Helps Fight Automated Attacks

Sometimes, you have to fight fire with fire. Modern cybercriminals have embraced automation and other artificially intelligent threat vectors. To stop these attacks effectively, systems that can independently evaluate and mitigate potential threats will be critical.

Automated Tools Provide a Bird’s-Eye-View of Your Defenses

In addition to taking the majority of the workload off your team members where handling threats are involved, an automated security system can help by providing critical insights. By observing any devices used to access company resources, your business can use these tools to evaluate where the most significant vulnerabilities lie. This way, you’re given insights into how your security needs to improve.

Automated Tools Can Save Your Team a Lot of Time

Regardless of how you’ve decided to use automation in your company, your team will have less on their plates to distract them from their actual responsibilities. As a result, more time can be dedicated to producing revenues and other, more desirable outcomes.

We can help you manage your operations in such a way that automation serves you to your most significant advantage, as well as putting numerous other benefits into place. Give us a call at (954) 474-2204 to learn more.

Should Your Business Consider the Four-Day Workweek?

a piece of paper with the words 4 - day written on it

The traditional 40-hour workweek feels like a staple in the business world. Whereas employees work 8-hour shifts and then head home for the day. However, this was not always the case. A case can be made that even the 40-hour workweek should be adjusted to at least some degree. Let’s take a look at the modern workplace, how it has changed, and how it can still be changed to better employees of all levels—including you.

A Brief History of Work and Labor

The Industrial Revolution began with farmers and independent tradesmen being replaced by the factory system. With these difficult and inhumane conditions came new pushes from President Roosevelt to include working hours in the New Deal. This concept also inspired the United Kingdom to cap work hours at 40 shortly afterward.

The end of World War II also saw women entering the workforce in droves, where they subsequently remained. Additionally, as well as African American employment in the ‘50s. The factory was essentially replaced by cramped office spaces, and the 1960s saw the development of the cubicle. While all this was going on, technology rose to become a powerful productivity tool. IBM built its first electric typewriter and business computer system. While other innovations further improved operations, such as the fax machine, laser printer, and floppy disk.

The traditional 9-to-5 shift we see today did not appear until the 1980s. During a time when the World Wide Web was first introduced and the processes we are familiar with today started to blossom. The ‘90s also saw many new innovations, including mobile phones and email. Even after the turn of the century, employment opportunities shifted toward knowledge-based roles. Additionally, many platforms took a turn toward the collaborative side of things. The 2010s in particular saw the rise of services and the technology that empowers them, a concept that is still on the rise today.

Yet, despite all of this change, the 40-hour workweek remains largely unchanged, save for a couple of recent shifts due in large part to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Why, when technology has increased in capacity so dramatically, has the workday remained constant? Let’s take a closer look.

How Things Have (and Haven’t) Changed

Technology is the key to understanding how the workplace has developed and how we will continue to work moving forward. Take a look at the technology used in the office throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. It might not have been as productive, but it allowed workers a break from the office environment. Compared to today’s always-on mentality and near-constant communication, it’s no wonder that the lines between work and home can blur so much.

Household roles, on the other hand, have not changed nearly as much. Working mothers continue to care for the family and prepare meals long after they have punched out of work for the day. This demographic also tends to be employed in high-stress positions like hospitality, education, and healthcare.

A Four-Day Workweek Could Help Resolve These Issues

Perhaps the solution is to simply work “less,” or reduce the time spent in the office by employees without reducing take-home pay. This also helps employees differentiate between home and office life by assigning an additional day as “off.”

A four-day workweek has been said to benefit the environment as well, as the morning commute creates a major carbon burden through today’s gasoline-powered transportation vehicles and the waste of single-use lunch packaging.

There is some pushback to this idea, however, because employers are under the impression that a four-day workweek means less productivity. This has been found to not be the case at all. If you are concerned about losing out on productivity from a shorter workweek, we can help to offset this through the use of technology that streamlines processes and workflows, something which is valuable even if you can’t bring yourself to dump the 40-hour workweek.

Your business can implement these technology solutions to improve operations, too. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.