IT issues affect productivity

Companies are experiencing several challenges at the moment. IT issues affect productivity within the workplace. We are all working  in strange times. Prioritising productivity will help your business succeed during these challenging times.

You’ve spent a significant amount of money providing your employees with the latest and greatest that modern IT has to offer, yet your general productivity levels have stalled out. Obviously, this is a problem with the person using the tool as opposed to the tool itself, right?

So, to help you, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest IT issues that could be affecting the productivity of your business. As well as suggesting some tips on how to fix them.

IT issues affect productivity for remote workers

Computer Weekly wrote an article about how remote workers air long-term productivity concerns. More than a third of the UK’s remote workers claim their home setup needs to be urgently revamped. As they need to ensure they can remain productive throughout the duration of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. This pandemic has caused problems as IT issues effect productivity. Due to the amount of home workers not being able to access the same technology as in the office.

IT issues affect productivity

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make usually involves assuming that any tech-related issues are actually people-related issues.

Q: I’m struggling to communicate with my colleagues

A: With most people still working remotely, communication and collaboration need to be front of mind. You can no longer lean over to ask someone a question. Nor can you easily meet a colleague for a coffee or meeting. Instead, all communication relies on technology. If you don’t have the right tech in place to facilitate effective communication, your business will suffer. Group projects will take longer, errors will occur, training will become less effective and important tasks may get overlooked.

Invest in effective communication tools. Applications like Microsoft Teams allows colleagues to connect with each other (and external professionals) via chat, audio and video functions. Colleagues can also collaborate on group projects together and the platform will automatically link to Microsoft Outlook, meaning calendars can be synced.

Q: I keep experiencing the same IT issues and there’s no one there to help!

A: Reoccurring IT issues will stunt the productivity of your business. Moreover, if your IT support provider is unreliable and unresponsive, it will take unnecessary amounts of valuable time to solve these issues. IT downtime will cause frustration and prevent employees from completing important tasks, which, overall, will be a significant and unnecessary cost to your business. IT issues affect productivity not just for colleagues working from home but the whole team.

Partner with an IT support provider that you trust and don’t just settle for the cheapest option. In the tech industry, cheaper rarely means better. Technology underpins every aspect of your business, so you need to make sure that your IT support partner is delivering genuine value for money. We’d also recommend an IT support partner who can suggest and implement effective cyber security. This will make sure your business is safe and secure.

Q: I’m stressed at work! I have lots to get done and don’t have the right tools to do it

Employees aren’t satisfied with the systems, platforms and technologies that are in place to help them do their job. During such challenging times, you need to ensure that working life is as stress-free as possible for your employees. For optimum productivity, your staff need to be happy and satisfied with the tools available to them. The happier the employees, the better the customer experience. This ensures a more productive business with greater the profits.

A: Use employee feedback software to gain anonymous employee insights and identify issues within your business. Employee feedback software provides your employees with a platform to raise their concerns in confidence. As such, you can discover what is or isn’t working about the tools and systems that you have in place.

Q: I can’t access my work and now I have to start again!

If data is not backed up or stored effectively it can be extremely difficult to recover. Staff will be required to re-do tasks. Wasting valuable money, time and effort.

A: Cloud computing will transform the security and accessibility of your data. Storing data in the cloud allows you to access it from any device, at any time, provided you have a strong internet connection. With a cloud based system all your data will be back up securely. Employees can access their documents using a separate device and secure login. This is especially useful when working remotely.

Q: Our tools and technology aren’t suited to the needs of our business

Ask yourself, are the tools, technology, systems and applications in place really best suited to the needs of your business? Slow PCs, broken servers and reoccurring IT issues will inevitably lead to IT downtime and reduced productivity. Are you fully utilising your CRM systems? Or are there areas where they fail? Are your staff having to complete things manually, because technology is failing to do so? Could you automate a process?

A: Speak to your IT support partner, as you will undoubtedly benefit from professional technology consulting. Implementing the right technology and automating processes will improve the overall productivity, efficiency and success of your business.

Q: Our technology works for us now but won’t be able to cope in the future

Outdated technology can be a major IT issue. Relying on technology because it ‘does the job now’ and overlooking its weakness will stunt your business’ growth in the future. You need to align your IT strategy with your business goals, so that technology will facilitate success, not limit it. Whilst business growth may not be at the forefront of your mind during these challenging times, you still need to plan and prepare for success in the aftermath of the pandemic. Don’t let technology and an ineffective IT strategy be the thing that holds your business back and leads to productivity loss in the future.

A: If you’re unsure of whether your current IT strategy is limiting business growth, contact the LIS Help Desk. At LIS, we’re passionate about digitally transforming businesses, so that they can use technology to thrive. We can make sure your IT issues affect productivity are fixed as quickly as possible.

Our experienced team will regularly review your systems. Make sure your  security is up to date. As well as suggesting upgrades to your software and hardware. We look after your IT systems, making sure your team are more productive.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#ITSupport #Networking #Business #Telecomms

Team Meetings Are Simple

Working from home (WFH) with Microsoft Teams. If you are already a user of what has become Microsoft’s fastest-growing app in history, you’ll realise that team meetings are simple and quick. Although not always convenient if you’re in a home setting that’s verging on disorganised.

So, before you start a Teams meeting, use the blur background function to put you in focus, rather than what’s behind you. Be that a child home-schooling at the kitchen table, a stack of laundry ready for ironing or an interesting choice of reading material on your bookcase.

Team meetings are simple when working from home

It’s clear that WFH isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Standard Life Aberdeen has informed 4,900 of its UK employees working from home not to expect a return to the office this year. While Health Secretary Matt Hancock has indicated his hope that employers offer home working as a choice going forward.

A record of 2.7 billion minutes of Microsoft Teams meetings took place in a single day in April. It has become a feature of daily working life for many, team meetings are simple and are here to stay. Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business Online which is being retired on 31 July 2021.

Team Meeting Are Simple

The hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365. Invite everyone you work with to chat, meet, call and collaborate all in one place. Discover a new way to work together.

All capabilities of Skype for Business are available in Microsoft Teams – like blurring out your background during a video call – but Teams expands on capabilities for communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams brings together files, chats, and apps in an integrated app, with functionality that enables organizations to move faster and collaborate more efficiently.

All Office 365 customers are encouraged to use Teams, whether independently or alongside with Skype for Business. However, customers will need to move to Teams before the Skype for Business Online retirement date. Here’s some advice on how to make Microsoft Teams technology at your fingertips your new best friend.

Don’t leave them hanging

Teams allows you to test your functionality before a video call. This lets you adjust the camera angle, test the audio, sort out any lighting issues or blur the background before you get going.

Cut the inbox clutter

Drowning in emails could become a thing of the past. If a colleague wants you to send a file, or answer a quick query, chats is the answer.

It’s good to share

Using the chat window is an easy way to have a quick conversation with a colleague. Need to share a file? Attach it in the chat, then call or video call your colleague to discuss the file straight from the window. Meetings can be scheduled without leaving the chat. There’s no need to switch between apps during a conversion as chat is integration with other Microsoft products like Office.

Collaboration and communication

Syncing with Office 365, you can create a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document in Teams, immediately share it with colleagues and then co-write. It cuts out confusion around the very latest version of documents, spreadsheets or power points.

Any time, any place

Teams is a fully cloud-based solution, meaning you can access information from anywhere on any device. Using the Teams phone app gives immediate access to all your apps and documents. You can easily respond to chat and conversations, join meetings with one click and continue to collaborate. So even on the move, you stay in the loop.

Overcoming isolation

Working from home can be a lonely experience but using the Teams internal communications keeps the workforce engaged and motivated and conscious they are working towards the same goal, even when physically apart. It provides scope to check in, not check-up.

Privacy and security

Microsoft Teams comes with security and privacy controls designed to prevent vulnerabilities to hacking, protection which includes:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – Users supply added forms of verification to prove their identity, helping protect their accounts from attacks through weak or stolen passwords.
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager – To manage devices and apps and enforce conditional access on any device.
  • Secure Guest Access – Allows users to collaborate with individuals outside their organisation while controlling access to their own data.

How can we be part of your team?

We are working in unusual times that no one has experienced. Take the pressure of worrying about you IT system. Wouldn’t it be nice to focus working on your business rather than for the business? No more organised meetings in the board room. Team meetings are simple with Microsoft Teams. Allow yourself to spend extra time playing golf, going down the gym or your favourite activity.

Find out more about how LIS can support your team working from home. Contact the LIS Help Desk for the latest IT Support Advice,  Security, Cloud Back Up Solutions and Telecoms. Like the famous TV advert said, “It’s good to talk.”

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#MicrosoftTeams #WFH #Business #ITSupport

 

This time next year

Apple boss Tim Cook joins the billionaires club

We have all heard the saying “ this time next year we will be millionaires”. Have you ever thought about being a billionaire?

The BBC broke the news on the website today that – Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook is now a billionaire. All thanks to the company’s rising share price.  The 59 year old’s wealth was calculated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Apple’s share price has soared during his time in charge, from around £40 to more than £343 today.

He joined the technology giant in 1998 at the request of Steve Jobs, who he replaced as chief executive in 2011.

Mr Cook owns more than 847,000 Apple shares directly, worth more than £291m.

Proceeds from previous share sales, dividends and other compensation add another £497m to his net worth, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

Tim Cook has stated that money is not his motivation for waking up before 4 a.m. or boosting Apple’s value to
over $1 trillion. That’s an unexpected remark from the CEO of such a well-known and profitable tech company.

Last year Mr Cook was paid £95m, the majority of which came in the form of vested shares. His basic salary is £2.3m.

Chief executives of other tech companies, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, have a much higher net worth because they often own a large proportion of their company’s shares.

Two years ago, Apple became the first US-listed company to be valued at a trillion pounds.

The company is now worth about £1.45tn and analysts believe it will pass the £1.5tn mark this year.

How does Mr. Cook plan to spend his fortune?

Mr Cook has said he will give away his entire fortune before he dies. He told Fortune magazine that he would fund his nephew’s education before giving his wealth to charity.

Two causes that are close to his heart are HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. As well as climate change, he said – telling the magazine he had already started to quietly donate.

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” he said at the time.

How can we help to build your business?

Maybe you’re feeling a little jealous and wish you could join the billionaires club? We unable to make you successful and join the billionaire’s club. Well, we have good news for you. You can become a billionaire! It has nothing to do with your family’s money or your education. It has everything to do with you.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to us about the latest hardware, software, security and cloud back up system. If you make sure your team have the best technology possible that suits your budget this will help you to achieve your goals. We can all dream… THIS TIME NEXT YEAR…

Through hard work, dedication and time you can make it. Why have the stress about worrying about your systems? Let us take the pain away and make sure your business runs smoothly.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#BillionairesClub #Business #ITSupport

Surge in Internet usage

People in the UK have been spending record amounts of time on the Internet during the coronavirus lockdown. It’s no surprise that the surge in Internet usage has hit an all-time high. All those Zoom meetings, home working and not to mention the Netflix binging.

A recent BBC article takes a closer look and explains why we are so reliant on the Internet.

In April 2020, UK adults spent longer than four hours online each day – more than a quarter of their waking life. It marks an increase of more than half an hour since January. This means people now spend substantially more time online than watching television or listening to the radio.

The recent surge in Internet usage figures were revealed in Ofcom’s Online Nation report. It illustrates the habits and trends of internet users between November 2019 and April 2020. People aged 18 to 24 were the heaviest users, clocking an average of more than five hours spent online per day.

Average time online due to a surge in Internet usage

Number of hours spent online by age group in the UK, April 2020.

Surge in Internet usage

A large portion of the study focussed on internet habits in 2019, which revealed that technology giants now control an even greater share of internet traffic. The research by the regulator showed that more than a third of time spent online was spent on sites owned by either Facebook or Google.

How people spend their time online

Average number of minutes spent using sites and services per day.

How people spend their time online

The shift towards platforms like Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger appears to have been accelerated during lockdown. Nearly half of all adults using the messaging apps to make video calls at least once a week.

Ofcom’s research found that the use of video calling services doubled to 70 per cent of the population during the lockdown, as people sought new ways to stay in touch.

One of the biggest benefiters from this trend has been the app Zoom, which saw a huge surge in new users at the start of the lockdown.

Zoom meetings

“Lockdown may leave a lasting digital legacy,” said Yij-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s director of strategy and research. “Coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time.”

Make sure you are connected

We cannot predict how long this pandemic will go on for. However, as we all know technology is helping us cope with the current situation. Particularly companies that are working from the office and at home. Contact the LIS Help Desk to make sure your business is receiving the fastest broadband. Make sure your remote colleagues have access to the same system as those in the office. We can upgrade your security, look after your emails and provide cloud based back up solutions.

Talk to us about IT support. Why have the worry of looking after your systems? Let us take the strain. We work with you to set up the most cost effective and productive solutions. Think of us as part of your team rather than a supplier!

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#ThankGodItsNotDialUp #InternetHighs #WFH

Save The Planet

As a society, we get through serious amounts of technology. Help save the planet! What do you do with your old devices though? Sell them? Shove them in a drawer and forget all about them? We should be recycling them to help the planet. The Evening Standard published a story about how millions of old gadgets can be recycled into new shiny ones.

When you’re done with your old PC, laptop or Mac, don’t just throw it in the rubbish. Make sure you recycle it properly, including safely removing any personal data on your computer’s hard drive.

Recycling an old computer can be relatively straightforward. When you buy a new electrical item such as a PC or laptop, the retailer you buy from is legally obliged to help you safely and responsibly dispose of the item you are replacing.

Save The Planet.jpg

Computer Recycling – Technology continues to rapidly grow. Make sure you recycle your old machines the right way.
Do not risk getting a fine!

Computer recycling schemes help save the planet

One of the best recycling services we’ve come across is called WeeeCharity. This charity will collect your old computing equipment free of charge from your home. It will also offer to wipe your data securely, free of charge. WeeeCharity donates refurbished computers to those in need, or else disposes of them in an environmentally responsible manner.

Alternatively, your local council may run a scheme for recycling old computers (but it might charge for collection). For more details, go to the Environment Agency Website or contact your council.

You can also enter your postcode at the Recycle Now website to see whether there’s a recycling scheme near you. Alternatively, the Freecycle Network will help you give away your old machine, and Computer Aid International sends computers to developing countries.

In all cases, it’s essential to take some steps to securely remove the data on your computer. Some charities offer to do this for you. If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, follow our advice below.

Factory reset your computer before recycling

Before recycling a laptop or desktop, you should reset it to its ‘factory settings’. In theory, this leaves only the bare operating system and pre-installed programs on the device – removing access to your files and any programs you’ve added.

It’s essential before beginning the proces to back up all your data. Firstly, store them safely on an external hard drive. Then save them to your new computer or in online cloud storage solutions. Finally, if you wish to reinstall software from your old computer onto a new one, note down the licence keys. You’ll need these to install paid-for software (including Microsoft Office) on a new machine.

Use data-shredding software

Scrapped computers can end up being recycled anywhere, often with the components stripped out to extract valuable metals. It is also possible to extract potentially sensitive data at this point, even with a computer that’s been factory reset as per the steps above.

To be certain your data is gone, you should consider using data-shredding software. Windows 10 lets you shred data from within its factory reset options. If you’re using a different operating system, it’s a good idea to run additional software.

Remove the hard drive

If you’re recycling a laptop or desktop and would prefer not to dabble with data-shredding software, the safest way to make sure your data isn’t accessed is to physically remove the hard drive.

You can put an old hard drive into an external caddy – available for about £12 online. This will convert it into a USB hard drive that you can use to store and access data, just like a regular external hard drive.

Alternatively, you can smash the old hard drive to make it unrecoverable. It’s physical work – you’ll need to destroy it with a few satisfying blows of a hammer to break the ‘platters’ that hold the data.

How we help save the planet

We are unable to save the animals or forests of the world. We offer a recycling service to our clients, by taking your old equipment. Our recycling program makes sure your we dispose of your items ethically and abide by UK law.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to talk about upgrading your equipment. Our friendly team are here help you with data shredding, transfer of data and other issues you have.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#recycle #OldDevices #SaveThePlanet