Tag Archive for: Work From Home

Hybrid working is here to stay, and so are video calls.

Do you want to give your home or office video call setup an upgrade? Maybe make yourself look and sound better? Our newest video gives you three easy ways to improve your video call set up. Watch it here:

Want our help? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

The use of Microsoft Teams has just exploded in the last few years. It now boasts over 270 million people using it every month. Its constant growth has been helped by the many improvements and new features being released all the time.

This short video we’ve created will give you the details on three new updates coming soon to Teams. Watch it here:

If you’d like any assistance setting up Teams for your business, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

How to Keep Your Business’s Data Safe During the Work from Home Revolution

We’ve all come to accept that working from home and hybrid working are here to stay. In many ways, we’ve embraced this change well. However, one way that many businesses are lacking is in additional security measures for those working away from the office.

Unmanaged devices are a big concern that business’s need to explore, as they have the potential to compromise ALL of your business’s crucial data. We’ve created this brand-new guide to outline the concerns and some ways that your business should be protecting itself. Read it here: The Dangers of Employee’s “Other” Laptop

Want help ensuring your business is protected? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Remote working has really come of age in the last two years. Many people have loved it, while others have realized that they prefer an office environment.

Can you guess how many people would like to make remote working a permanent option? According to a new report, a whopping 96% of employees want to solely work from home, even when the pandemic is over. They’d even be willing to take a pay cut to make that happen.

But wait – it gets even more shocking. Of these people, a third said they’d be willing to sacrifice HALF of their monthly wage to do so. Not only that, but they’d also give up their health benefits and even paid time off.

Are you as shocked at those figures as we are?

In terms of work/life balance, some people have never had it better. Now that things are slowly recovering, they’re not going to want to give it up.

Many of your people might not want to go back to the stress, the distraction, and the commuting. It is even likely that some of them don’t want to leave their beloved pets on their own!

As an employer, giving the option to make remote or hybrid work permanent seems like an ideal solution. You’ve already seen that your people can be trusted to do a great job wherever they work. You may have even seen an increase in motivation and productivity.

Your business could even cut down on some of its fixed costs, with office space being one of the big savings.

If you’ve only had temporary work from home measures in place for the last 2 years, it’s time to make them official. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to make sure that everyone’s home set-up is suitable before permanently transitioning to remote working.

The first priority is to look at data security. How do your people access your network? Do they have the right security measures installed on their devices? Are their home networks protected from unauthorized access?

But it’s not just security that you need to consider. You will also need to look at the collaboration tools you’re using. If your team is unlikely to be in the same place at the same time, should you invest in a better solution to make sure communication doesn’t suffer?

As well as reporting on salary sacrifices, the report also found that nearly 2 in 5 people feel ignored in video meetings. Upgrading their equipment and devices might be the answer. Professional quality webcams and microphones can help by making sure video quality is high and that voices are heard.

Don’t forget that older laptops or desktops will need to be upgraded every few years to make sure they’re performing well and costing you less to maintain.

If you’d like any help making sure your home setups are right for permanent remote workers, feel free to book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Instant voice communication with your whole team at the push of a button

If you have looked at all the new features in your Microsoft Teams application, you might have noticed the walkie talkie feature. If you have an Android device, maybe you’ve already tried it out?

Now Microsoft has rolled it out to iOS devices as well, meaning it can be used by every member of your team. We believe it has the potential to become a powerful communication tool. Let’s look at what it is before we explore how you could use it.

If you were alive back in the 1980s, you’ll remember real walkie talkies. They were the coolest way to talk to your friends on the move – long before we had mobiles, of course. If you’re too young to remember the 80s, then go watch a few episodes of Stranger Things and you’ll get the idea.

With a walkie talkie you press a button to talk, and everyone who has a device on the same frequency as yours can hear you speak. They can only reply when you let go of the button and only one person can speak at a time. What that gives you is ordered, real time voice conversation between a group of people.

This new Teams feature works in exactly the same way. There’s no need to call anyone. Like a real walkie talkie, you just push a button on your phone to speak, and everyone in your team channel can hear you.

It works on both Android and iOS devices as long as they’re connected to the internet. It even works if your phone is locked.

Walkie talkie was originally created with front-line workers in mind. The idea is that when you’re away from your workplace you can quickly and securely communicate without additional devices or being slowed down by the hassle of a phone call (which can mean going through a voice-automated system or waiting for a mobile to be answered).

We can see this being useful for remote workers too. It doesn’t matter whether your team is in the office or working from home – they can have a voice conversation in real time, instantly.

Just like the old days when everyone worked in the same space.

Can you see how that would help your business?

Before you can use walkie talkie in Teams, you’ll need to make sure it’s enabled. Your administrator will need to do this in the Teams admin center – it’s really easy.

If you’d like help setting up this or any other Microsoft feature, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

With the continuing shift towards remote working, health is an ongoing concern. Find out how to stay healthy even when you’re working from home.

The global pandemic resulted in many workplaces implementing work-from-home policies. In doing so, many of these workplaces have discovered that there are significant benefits to providing employees with the option of doing their work remotely.

According to a survey conducted by CoSo Cloud, 77% of people believe they are more productive when working from home. Another study, conducted by commercial real estate firm CBRE, suggests that up to 69% of millennials are willing to sacrifice certain workplace benefits to have more flexible working options. The video conferencing company, Owl Labs, also found that 74% of people say they are more likely to stay with a company if they have the option of working from home.

The simple message is that working from home is likely to become the new normal in the coming years. However, working from home also presents challenges.

No longer faced with the need to commute to the office, people may find that they are less focused on their health. Some may also find they have limited access to exercise equipment or other resources that help them to stay healthy.

In this article, we will share five tips on how you can stay healthy when working from home.

 

TIP #1 – STOCK UP ON HEALTHY SNACKS

The kitchen is only a short walk away when you are working from home. Unfortunately, this also means that it is very easy to access sugary snacks at any point.

The solution is to eliminate unhealthy snacks from the kitchen or make them a little less convenient to access. To start, try keeping a few healthy options in an easy-to-access spot near your work area. This will make you less tempted to venture to the kitchen in search of something sugary.

In the kitchen, keep a good stock of fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks available. Make these healthier options visible by placing them on the counter while hiding the unhealthy snacks in the cupboards. This will allow your healthy snacks to act as a visual reminder to stick with the foods that are good for your body.

 

TIP #2 – MOVE EVERY HOUR

It is easy to spend too much time at the computer when you are working from home. This leads to long periods of sedation in which your body isn’t moving.

Sitting for several hours at a time is linked to a range of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. By committing to moving for a few minutes every hour, you reduce your risk of experiencing these conditions.

Consider setting a timer to remind yourself to get up every hour. Spend a little time walking around the house or go for a quick walk around the block before resuming work.

 

TIP #3 – USE AN ACTIVE SITTING CHAIR

In addition to walking every hour, there are several ways that you can stay active even when working.

For example, sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to keep your body engaged while you’re in front of a computer. The unstable nature of the ball forces you to use your core muscles to stay upright, strengthening your body in the process.

Some take this a step further and choose to work while standing. Keep in mind that while this is an effective technique, it does require you to have a desk at a suitable height. If your desk is too low, you may cause issues with your posture due to having to bend over constantly.

 

TIP #4 – ADD A COUPLE SIMPLE EXCERCISES TO YOUR ROUTINE

Take a few minutes each day to perform a couple simple exercises, such as squats or jumping jacks.

Squats involve using your own weight to strengthen your lower body. You can use dumbbells to create further resistance if you’d like to make this exercise more challenging. However, only do so when you’re already confident in your technique without using any additional weights.

Jumping jacks elevate your heart rate and work your entire body. They allow you to improve your cardiovascular conditioning without requiring a lot of room. You can also add resistance using free weights, although this should only be done when you’ve mastered the technique.

 

TIP #5 – CREATE A STRESS-FREE ENVIRONMEN

One of the best things about working from home is that you have complete control over your environment. Use this to your advantage by creating an environment that allows you to tackle stress.

For example, placing scented candles around your desk creates a more relaxed environment. Ensuring you have plenty of plants in your home office has also shown to be effective. Additionally, working near a window helps to reduce stress, as having a view of nature can be soothing.

 

YOUR HEALTH IS A PRIORITY

While working from home offers a range of benefits in terms of flexibility, productivity, and work/life balance, it can also lead to a more sedentary working environment. Overcoming this requires you to come up with ways to keep your body healthy, even when you’re spending long hours sitting in front of a computer.

The tips shared in this article will help you do just that and best of all, none of them require you to buy expensive exercise equipment.

Now, there are many more challenges related to remote work that both employees and businesses need to stay on top of. If you need any help creating the most effective remote work environments possible, schedule a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Did you get a much-needed break over the holidays? Even just a couple days off at the end of the year can give you that clear mind needed to jump start your business for 2022.

We like to call this “January Refresh & Refocus”. During this time, we encourage you to take a look at two areas of technology that will make the biggest difference in your business during 2022… Defend and Invest.

Defend is all about protecting your business. Cyber-crime is predicted to rise to an all-time high once again this year. Your business MUST be protected.

Invest is all about making sure your business is not being held back by your technology. When technology is used correctly, it can and should be the driving force behind your business.

We have created this free guide to help you plan for these two areas in 2022. Click here to download it: Guide – Defend & Invest

Want help putting together your 2022 technology strategy? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

First of all, do you know what the cloud is? Many businesses are embracing it, but not a lot of people actually understand it. Our new video outlines what it is and how it benefits businesses. Check it out here:

If you’re interested in finding out what it would take to move your business to the cloud, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us here: https://www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

When most people think about Microsoft 365, they think of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams. What many people don’t realize is that there are so many other useful apps included in your subscription. Finding the right apps for your business can boost productivity, save time, and improve customer experience.

Now the hard part is that there are so many apps available that it can be difficult to determine which app fits your business best. Here’s where we come in… We have created an easy-to-read guide on our 10 favourite Microsoft 365 apps that we think every business should explore. Download it for free here: 10 Apps You Didn’t Know You Had In Microsoft 365

If you’re interested in discussing how Microsoft 365 can help your business, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us here: https://www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Nothing beats an in-person brainstorming session with your team. Unfortunately, in our current hybrid work environments, that is often not possible. Luckily, Microsoft offers the next best thing with Whiteboard!

Whiteboard is perfect for sharing ideas in real time with whoever you want. You and your team can easily add anything from sticky notes, to pictures, to diagrams. Find out more on how it works here: