Tips to Curtail Burnout In the Workplace

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Burnout in the workplace is a severe problem in a business environment. If you are not careful, it can have profound effects on operations, productivity, and profitability in the long term. If you suspect that your employees are experiencing symptoms of burnout, you need to act on these symptoms and implement policies to protect your team from… well, themselves.

What Leads to Burnout In the Workplace?

There are many reasons why burnout can surface, including the following:

Too Much Work

Employees who have too much work to do will inevitably find themselves overwhelmed and burnt out. Not only can it affect how well a team works, but it can also have negative influences on health and wellness. According to the World Health Organization, long working hours contributed to 745,000 deaths in 2016 through various factors. This is a problem, so if you can identify employees suffering from it, you should do all you can to prevent it.

Lack of Workplace Recognition

Even if compensation is adequate for your employees, they still want workplace recognition in other forms, such as congratulatory messages and the appreciation of both management and peers. Otherwise, what is there to motivate them?

Lack of Control

People enjoy what they can control and don’t enjoy what they cannot; the same can be said for work. If employees feel like they have no say in their work, they can quickly lose motivation. Micromanagement and restriction simply for the sake of oversight can be disastrous, especially when it causes your team to burn out. Ask yourself how you might feel being managed in this way, and you’ll see what we mean.

Unfair Treatment

If there are apparent discrepancies in how different employees are treated, or even perceived ones, then there is a real possibility of it developing further into burnout. When bias and discrimination are involved, this is doubly so, and you should do everything you can to eliminate it.

Poor Workplace Relationships

Again, let’s flip perspectives and take a look at how you might feel if you had to spend hours out of your day working with strangers or people who you do not enjoy being around. Your employees certainly don’t want this, and while the case can be made that work doesn’t need to be enjoyable, this isn’t a narrative conducive to productivity and motivation.

What Can You Do to Minimize Burnout In the Workplace?

Here are some ideas to minimize burnout and help your employees regain the motivation to push forward.

Know the Signs

First, you’ll need to know when to admit that your team is experiencing symptoms of burnout. If they have issues concentrating, are increasingly more irritable at work, complain about aches and pains, or having trouble sleeping, or feel like they have accomplished nothing, they might be experiencing signs of burnout.

Identify Where It Comes From

Identifying warning signs is not the same as addressing where burnout comes from. If you want to eliminate burnout for good, finding what’s causing it will be paramount. Whether it is work, health, family drama, or otherwise, you need to find out if it’s internal and something you can control. If it’s not, then perhaps you can still find ways to resolve the problem more indirectly.

Give Your Team Back Control

If burnout comes from work-related issues, consider ways you can directly influence it. If you give your team some autonomy in their day-to-day tasks, you might be able to alleviate some of the pressure your team feels to perform as expected.

We Can Help Your Team Make the Most of Their Time

Suppose you are ready to eradicate burnout in the workplace. In that case, we bet that a good starting point is to implement hardware and software solutions designed to make employees’ lives easier and more productive. To get started with these automated solutions and managed services, reach us at (954) 474-2204.

5 Tips to Get the Most from Your Instant Messaging Solution

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Instant messaging is a solution that has picked up in the business world, and for a good reason. While email allows for more passive communication, instant messaging allows for more instantaneous communication, similar to a phone call in its urgency. But are you properly using instant messaging?

Establish a Usage Policy

Just like with other technology solutions, your company should have a policy in place that governs how your employees use it. This means that you must establish clear guidelines for the appropriate use of instant messaging. For example, having a group chat for a department is perfectly fine, but having a group that is exclusively for sharing distractions is a problem that can lead to too much wasted time.

Keep it Professional

You should always use greetings when sending instant messages, similar to the way you would if you were using emails. Using a salutation such as “Hi Name,” rather than opening the conversation with a question can make a world of difference. It would help if you also tried to use similar professional language in your IMs as you would in an email.

Keep it Short, but Keep it Clear.

As we previously mentioned, the big difference between IM and email is that IMs are designed for instantaneous responses and quick conversations rather than long, drawn-out, detailed messages. The best way to use IMs is to use it to your advantage and not use it like you would an email. If you expect someone to respond to a long IM that requires a detailed and analytic response, then it may look like the user is ignoring the message until they can find time to respond to it in the way that you expect.

Still, you’ll want to convey thoughts and ideas clearly, but instant messaging is a great place to encourage questions to prevent communication gaps.

Respect the Status Message

Most instant messaging applications allow the user to set their status. This might be something like Available, Away, In a Meeting, Busy, etc. If the user is anything but available, you should reconsider sending the message until the user is indeed available to take your message. Otherwise, there is a solid chance that the message will slip through the cracks.

Try to Encourage In-Person Communication Too

All of that said, an instant message is not a substitution for a good old face-to-face conversation. Whenever possible, you should make an effort to have in-person conversations with your coworkers and staff. This helps you avoid instances of messages being taken out of context and establishes that you can make time in your busy day to make connections in this way. It’s just good to remind your coworkers and employees that, yes, we are still people, even if half the time our communications are done from the other side of a computer screen.

4 Corner IT can help you implement the best instant messaging solution that suits your company’s needs. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Phishing Attacks in 2021 Trending Due To Pandemic

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Hackers have made some nefarious choices over the past several months, many of which involve using the COVID-19 pandemic to spread their influence and steal data through the use of phishing attacks. Let’s explore how these cybercriminals have leveraged a global disaster to their benefit and some ways that you can keep your business secure.

According to SecureList, spam and phishing trends in Q1 of 2021 were heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and not in a good way. Here are a few examples of the major threats that surfaced during this time.

Stimulus Payment Scandals

Early 2021 saw many initiatives by government agencies to suppress the financial burden placed on individuals and businesses through the use of economic impact payments and business bailouts. Hackers, of course, wanted to capitalize on this and began using phishing messages to trick people. Targets received messaging that was often specific to their bank and utilized similar branding to official websites. These efforts were all elaborate tricks to convince users to hand over their credentials. Users would unsuspectingly enter their credentials into forms on these fake websites and put their sensitive information at risk.

The Vaccine Race

Back when the COVID-19 vaccine was in short supply or the supply itself was limited to specific groups of people, there was a bit of a race to get to it. This rush created an opportunity for hackers to capitalize on peoples’ desires for security and safety, and they leveraged phishing schemes that used the vaccine to their advantage. They would use language and branding of official health organizations to convince users to click on links in emails, which would then redirect users to fake websites for harvesting credentials or banking information. Even those who got the vaccine received surveys offering free goods in exchange for information.

What You Can Do

It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are using these tricks to subvert security measures. These types of attacks are just more of a string of phishing attacks that must be kept up with in order to maintain network security. Here are a couple of ways that you can make this happen.

  • Utilize Spam Protection: While they aren’t 100 percent effective all the time, spam filters are great for keeping threats out of your inbox. The most advanced phishing attacks could still make their way into your inbox, which is why we recommend taking multiple measures of network security.
  • Train Your Employees: If messages do make it past your spam filter, you will want those who are reading the messages—your employees—to be able to identify the threat and avoid it at all costs. This is where training comes in.
  • Implement Unified Threat Management: Unfortunately, even the best employees will make mistakes, so you will want to have a contingency plan in place for when accidents happen. A UTM gives you just that with a single all-in-one security solution for your network security.

4Corner IT can help your business approach network security in a responsible manner, implementing the best solutions and constantly testing your employees’ awareness of important security practices. To learn more about how we can help you protect your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

5 Reasons Remote Monitoring and Maintenance is Essential

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While reliable technology support has always been important, the sudden and widespread adoption of remote work by so many businesses has made it an essential component for an organization’s success. However, for your team members to have technology that continues to serve them as they do so, it is important that they are able to receive the same support as they would in the office. To accomplish this, remote monitoring and maintenance has proven to be a critical resource, providing a litany of benefits. Let’s go into what these benefits are, and how they take shape through the implementation of this method of receiving support.

What is Remote Monitoring and Maintenance (RMM)?

As a managed service provider, a considerable portion of our responsibility is to be sure that our clients’ technology is operating as it should. To do so, a methodology known as remote monitoring and maintenance is employed.

RMM solutions give our team the capability to keep track of our clients’ technology solutions from a distance, thereby enabling us to diagnose, mitigate, and resolve many IT issues that would otherwise cause operational headaches (or worse). As such, we can deliver considerable value to those we serve. With our real-time monitoring tools, many issues can be detected before their impacts become noticeable.

This, in turn, translates to considerable benefits. Let’s go over these benefits now, to demonstrate how RMM supplements a business’ operations:

Proactive Maintenance, and All That Comes With It

Our services as an MSP are all about embracing proactivity whenever the opportunity arises, and remote monitoring and maintenance is the perfect vehicle to this very outcome. Our solutions will keep an eye on your infrastructure, alerting our team at the first sign of an issue and enabling us to solve it—often before you or your team members realize that an issue is present.

In addition to active issue resolution, this proactive maintenance means that we’ll also keep track of any updates that are available for your solutions and apply them appropriately.

Minimized Downtime

As any business owner knows, “downtime” is technically a four-letter word in the workplace. Depending on the severity of the event, even a brief instance can incur significant financial costs. Thanks to the inherent proactivity of RMM, most downtime events can be avoided (and their financial repercussions sidestepped) so that your business processes are effectively untouched by any issues.

Improved Security

RMM can also help you to keep your business better protected against threats. One of the primary reasons that cyberattacks can get to be so severe is that many are not detected until long after the fact.

However, with remote monitoring in place, our team of professionals can be alerted of even the smallest sign of a potential breach. This puts us in place to resolve the underlying problem and keep your business safe.

Ensured Productivity

Let’s jump back to the impacts of minimizing downtime for a moment. One of the most important, and most prioritized, aspects in any business is the level of productivity that can be maintained. Eliminating your downtime is one of the few ways to do so that can have a 100 percent impact on your productivity. The fewer issues your employees encounter, the more they will be able to accomplish—something that our proactive maintenance facilitates.

Streamlined Cost of Ownership

Everyone likes to save money, right? Unfortunately, a lot of the technology that a business relies on can swiftly cause costs to rise expeditiously. A lot of this is due to the combination of maintenance needs after the fact, and the downtime that is incurred in the meantime.

However, by avoiding this by means of proactive maintenance through a predictable and budgeted service, these costs can be reduced significantly, helping your business that much more.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits that remote monitoring and maintenance provide—or you’d like to experience them for yourself—give 4Corner IT a call at (954) 474-2204.

How to: Use Windows 10’s Screenshot Tool

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The screenshot is one of the great tools that users can use to capture information in their browsers. If you are using a PC, you have access to many of them. Once you set one, you can typically use the Print Screen key to capture the image. Today, there is a Snip & Sketch tool that provides better functionality and is much easier to use.

How to Use Snip & Sketch for Screenshots

Snip & Sketch is integrated right into Windows, not a browser. It provides users with several screenshot options that you can access by pressing Windows Key+Shift+S. Here is a list of the available options:

  1. A basic box selection, allowing you to click and drag to encompass your selection
  2. A freeform selection, allowing you to draw out your boundary
  3. Window snip, allowing you to select an active monitor to screenshot
  4. Fullscreen snip, taking the place of the Print Screen key, allowing you to take a picture of all your monitors simultaneously

This tool gives you a wider range of useful options than most of today’s screenshot programs and it can be used throughout Windows to capture images.

We hope you can use this extremely useful tool to make your “screenshotting” needs easier. If you like the tips and tricks we provide, return to our blog weekly!