Key Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Organization

Key Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Organization

While many states have at least partially opened, it remains to be seen if they will continue a steady pace forward to an eventual full reopening, or if they will decide to pull back for a time. In other words, the process of recovering from a world-wide pandemic seems to be a two steps forward, followed by a one step backward process. Thankfully, many organizations have employed creative and innovative methods to keep their doors open as much as possible, while protecting both employees and the clients they serve.

For those who may have gotten off to a shaky start, we will provide some helpful tips on how to make the transition back to normal life as smoothly as possible.

Employee Safety First

While customers may come and go as they like, employees are obligated to remain in the workspaces their employer provides. Of course, organizations must follow government guidelines as to how many people are allowed within a building at the same time. Employers may need to expand the distance between employee workstations, whether they spend most of their time sitting or standing. It’s also a good idea to keep up with the latest information regarding PPE (personal protection equipment) to determine whether employees are being provided with the correct instructions on how to wear their various forms of protection. 

Stay Flexible

While many companies allowed their employees to work remotely right from the beginning of the pandemic, some have found today they need at least some of their employees to work within their physical buildings. Still, some employees may have pre-existing health conditions that put them at a higher risk, or they have a family member who is in a high risk group.

While in a normal world it may be advantageous to have these people back in the office, if they do get sick, not only will it add an extra burden to their physical and mental health, at best they’ll still be required to quarantine for a two-week period. Now is the time to remain flexible and realize it might not be possible to have the entire company operating as effectively as it could. 

Reassure the Public 

Let customers, vendors, and other company staff members with which your organization regularly comes in contact know that you are making every effort to honor their health and safety as well. This may include sending out a corporate email outlining all the steps your organization is performing to ensure their interaction with your employees will remain a safe, positive experience.

If an organization has a physical building that customers or vendors will enter, let them know what you are doing to ensure their safety as well as your expectations of them, by posting a sign on the door which they can read prior to entering. Some organizations may want to include some details about their safety practices in their corporate phone greeting. Others may want to inform the public by way of an advertisement shown on TV or through a radio commercial.

Reevaluate Corporate Technology Security

Many organizations have employees working in entirely different settings than they did before the pandemic. This could mean the new settings open them up to additional security risks as they use technology devices and software apps in a way they never did before. For employees in a remote work environment, organizations need to consider who in the environment may potentially have access to confidential information and/or computer equipment, including logins used for various apps. 

All the different ways in which employees now use corporate computer equipment and software applications must be reevaluated to ensure that a company’s technology system as a whole, remains safe and secure.

If you would like to know more about how to successfully navigate your organization through the pandemic, please contact us.

6 Tips for Supporting Your Remote Workforce During the Pandemic

6 Tips for Supporting Your Remote Workforce During the Pandemic

During this pandemic, businesses have been forced to quickly adapt to changing realities. One of the major changes we have seen in society is the shift towards telecommuting. Teams are working remotely to avoid having to go into the office. It can be difficult to acclimate to this new reality, so you need to provide your employees with the necessary support they need for your team to be successful. Today, we will be going through six tips for supporting your remote workforce during the pandemic. 

Focus on Team Building 

Just because your team is working remotely, that doesn’t mean that you can forget about team building. Working on improving communication and rapport between team members will lead to better collaboration and improved performance. According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work Report, one of the top challenges remote workers face is loneliness. 

Although team members can’t get together physically, you still want them to be able to chit-chat with each other and create meaningful relationships. Consider setting up an after-hour video chat “work party” or create a group “coffee room” chat. It is important for each team member to have a feeling of belonging to the team. 

Up Your Communication

A top challenge for remote teams is communicating effectively. In the office, team members can drop a note on their manager’s desk or walk a few steps to a colleague to ask for advice. Managers can regularly check in with team members when they bump into them in the office.

When managing a remote team, it is important to make a concerted effort to increase communication. Check in with your workers every day to ask if they need anything, and tell them not to hesitate to contact you if they have any sort of question. 

Set Up Effective Channels

Every remote team should be utilizing video chat. One-on-one chats allow you to check in with individual team members and stay on top of their progress, while group chats can take the place of daily briefings and meetings. However, not everything has to take place over a video chat. Assign different channels for different tasks — for example, team members can use email or a group chat board instead of video chat for more mundane tasks and questions. 

Create a Schedule and Set Goals

Creating a schedule can help teams stay focused and productive. This doesn’t have to be a full-blown schedule planned for the entire day; it can be a simple 15-minute briefing at the same time every morning or a 15-minute progress check at the end of the day. Establishing a ritual is important, and so is setting goals to help your workers stay focused. 

Be Flexible and Understanding

Another major challenge of working at home is facing distractions. Some team members may have children running around — kids aren’t going to school either. Offer understanding and flexibility. In addition, not every team member will need the same level of communication. For example, some team members may have a lot of questions and doubts and will benefit from an open communication channel; others may not need to ask as many questions and may flourish better when left to concentrate on the task at hand.

While it is important to stay on top of things and check in with your employees regularly, you may have to stay on top of some employees more.

Invest In Quality Cloud Solutions

If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to invest in high-quality business cloud computing solutions. This will help avoid hiccups and ensure that your business runs smoothly day-to-day.

Contact us for more information on how we can set up versatile and reliable cloud solutions for your workforce so your team members can work from wherever they are, on any device.

4 Tips To Get More Battery Life from Your Laptop

4 Tips To Get More Battery Life from Your Laptop

No matter what you use it for, your laptop’s portability is what makes it your most important tool. The busy lifestyles of students and workers rarely allow anyone the luxury of staying in one place long enough to complete everything. A multitasker’s laptop serves as a workstation, a homework helper, and a source of entertainment. You can’t afford to be chained to an outlet all day, so try these tips to get more life from your battery.

1. Change the Battery Setting

Laptop manufacturers want to cover all the bases. Your laptop needs to work at peak performance to access important information. However, when it’s crucial to conserve battery life, you probably don’t mind some compromises. Windows uses a slider to allow you to decide how much functionality you are willing to sacrifice for the life of your battery. Mac has all of the same options in the energy saver window using a checklist. Choosing from these settings can decrease screen brightness, limit background apps, and prevent mail apps from syncing.

2. Close Energy Hogging Apps

The apps sucking up all the energy on your laptop may be apps you aren’t actively using. Check your downloaded apps to see which ones are using the most energy. The easiest way to do this in windows is to simply type what you are looking for into the search bar. Searching “See which apps are affecting battery life” or “See which processes startup automatically” will allow to you detect apps you might be able to deactivate. Mac users can search for Users and Groups and click the Login Items tab. Often apps you have forgotten to close are using a lot of power.

3. Use Airplane Mode

If you aren’t using the internet or Bluetooth, airplane mode can be a great battery saver. Disabling WiFi and Bluetooth also saves energy through the apps that constantly use them for updates and notifications.

4. Keep a Spare

A spare battery can be a lifesaver when you are somewhere you can’t plug in. Many laptop manufacturers even offer batteries that last longer than the original one that came in your laptop. External battery packs are also available.

For more information about how to keep your laptop at peak performance, contact us at 4 Corner IT. We are happy to answer all of your questions and meet all of your computer performance needs.

Preserve Your Sanity This Holiday Season

Preserve Your Sanity This Holiday Season
Preserve Your Sanity This Holiday Season

Isn’t it ironic that the most “wonderful” time of the year can also be deemed the most stressful? We are familiar with the challenges of long work days and endless deadlines, however, if you throw a family gathering or office party in the mix, it’s enough to send you crawling under a rock!

Although it can be chaotic, always remember to take care of yourself first. Preserve your sanity this holiday season by following these key tips:

Be Lazy

No, but seriously. Do it. Turn your alarm off and sleep in for a day if you can. Indulge in whatever unwinds you from a stressful work week.

Whether you binge watch your favorite Netflix series over a glass of wine or go out or get pampered with a deep tissue massage, you deserve it! No matter how organized or balanced you are, we all need to push the reset button sometimes. It will lead to increased productivity when you go back into the real world and most importantly, it just feels good.

Learn the Word “No.”

We have all been there. Sometimes saying “no” to friends and family social functions makes us feel guilty and instead, we overextend ourselves and become down right exhausted. The holidays bring more social gatherings than usual and it’s understandable if your schedule can’t fit them all. Be honest and upfront with those close to you and take advantage of the down time that you have for yourself.

Turn Off the Electronics

It’s no secret that we are addicted to technology. Whether it’s replying to e-mails or browsing social media, it’s a hard habit to break. But I challenge you to take a day or even just a few hours to put down your phone or laptop and really take a moment to embrace the spirit of the holidays. Reconnect with family or just take a moment to yourself and relax.

While the holidays can be stressful, it’s important not to forget about ourselves amidst the chaos. Enjoy spoiling yourself for a moment, speak up if you’re overwhelmed, and make a commitment to turn off your electronics.

And when it’s back to reality, alleviate the stresses of work by utilizing 4 Corner IT for your tech solutions. Be sure to contact us today! 

Daily Time Saving Tips for Office Computer Users

Daily Time Saving Tips

It is a fact that all employees have a particular number of hours to work every day. So, your employees should maximize on time during working hours because it impacts their productivity. As an employer, you need to appreciate that office computers offer a platform for employees to access information that is not in line with their daily activities.

The implication is that staff can easily suffer distraction while working at the office from their computer due to pop-ups from unfamiliar sites, a cluttered inbox, disorganized files, among other things. Any distraction that affects your work at the office can lower your productivity considerably, which prevents you from maximizing on time. Here are some daily time-saving tips for office computer users that employees can consider adopting.

Day One Time Saving Tip

Eliminate The Clutter

Most computers are full of programs and old files that users do not require. The challenge is that cluttering your computer may slow down its performance, which will ultimately affect your productivity. Organizing and labeling every folder on your computer will enhance your ability to deliver the necessary results on time.

Getting rid of old files and any programs on your computer that are no longer necessary can also enhance the performance of your PC or laptop by providing vital details promptly.

Day Two Time Saving Tip

Avoid Time-Wasting Sites

It is frustrating for most employees when they discover the amount of time they are losing every day by dedicating a few minutes of their time to social media or YouTube. The truth is that committing time to non-work-related websites while at work robs you of the opportunity to achieve your daily targets and that may affect your relationship with your employer.

If you want to win the trust and the confidence of your superior regarding your ability to deliver the results they expect, you need to steer clear of any site that does not relate to your daily office tasks. The fact is that time-wasting websites will ultimately compromise your work at the office.

Day Three Time Saving Tip

Monitor Your Productivity

Sometimes, it is difficult to keep track of your activities at the office as you aspire to find out where you spend most of your time while working on your computer. Downloading such a Google Chrome Extension as RescueTime can help you monitor your online activities and the time you spend away from your computer.

Consequently, you are capable of establishing your office hours productivity levels to make adjustments where necessary to avoid wasting time. If you need more information on daily time-saving tips for computer users, contact us today!