How Technology Has Affected the Modern Workplace

How Technology Has Affected the Modern Workplace

Throughout history, technology has continuously modified the way employees across every industry do their work. Not long ago, companies were in the mess of numerous paperwork. Heavy expenses were incurred so as to reach customers, memos had to be released and posted on notice boards, as well as numerous meetings in rooms.

Nevertheless, technology has changed all of this and made work more comfortable. You now stand a chance to work in the comfort of your home effectively. Here are some of the ways in which technology has reshaped the modern workplace. 

1. Speed and Efficiency

Technology has made it possible for you to work faster and become more fruitful when working from home. Using modern software systems not only motivates you to do more work but also do a clean job. Unlike in the past, when you had to do a lot of paperwork, completing a task is now just a click away. 

Technology has streamlined how fast a certain task will be completed. It has become easy to track down how your colleagues are working and bring out better results together. Therefore, the ability to bring out fast and efficient results lies on the screen in front of you. 

2. Better Team Collaboration

Technology has dramatically changed the way people used to communicate. Smartphones, chat apps, and social networking sites have taken communication to another level. This makes it easy to get in touch with your colleagues and deliberate on how you can continue being more productive. 

Technology has also made it easier for managers to track the progress of every employee. This keeps every worker on their toes and ensures that all work is efficiently done and thus more output. Holding meetings has also become easy due to teleconferencing. This saves you not only time but also the extra expenses that would have been used to commute to the office.

3. Reduced Risk of Security Breaches

Initially stealing essential and sensitive information from a company was easy, but now with technology, it has almost become impossible to get such information. This is because proper security measures brought about by technology have been put in place.  

Technology has also made it possible for every employees’ conversations to be tracked. This ensures that no security breach is caused by any of your colleagues. When your company is secure, you also become secure in terms of your job. 

4. Effective Cost Management

Every company’s goal is to increase profitability as well as the quality of services offered. Now that technology has made working from home easy and effective, the overall expenses of the company have reduced. Manual handling of tasks has been eliminated and more efficient ways have been put in place

The use of computers while working from home helps you to get more accurate results, unlike when you had to do a lot of paperwork. Once accuracy has been achieved, there is an easy retrieval of information anytime it is needed. Besides, the work that could have been done by several people is easily done by one person in the comfort of their home. This helps to reduce many expenses in your company while achieving more profits. 

5. Keeps The Business Fully Organized

Technology makes it possible for the business to be well organized. When working from home, updating your progress and achievements on your company’s online data records brings out clear and clean work, unlike when using paperwork. This makes it possible to easily trace and know how well you are faring in line with the requirements of the company. 

Not only are you able to keep track of what you are doing, but also track how your collaborative workmates are doing too. This helps you to make comparisons and improve where necessary, thus increasing your productivity. 

6. Difficulty Detaching from Work

Working from home can be very enjoyable, especially now that we are living in a modern world. If not well planned, you may meet yourself working overtime and making it hard to break off from work. This becomes possible due to the beauty of working with modern tools, but it can bring about negative results when not carefully observed. 

In as much as you can do a lot of work when working from home, setting working hours and keenly following them is very crucial. This is because overworking leads to burnout and then, in turn, low productivity. Making sure that you take breaks from work is very vital and ends up increasing your productivity.

Technology has, therefore, made working from home not only possible but also effective and very fruitful. To learn more about this, feel free to contact us today.

Working From Home? Keep The Spirit of Teamwork Alive With These Tips

If the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced you and your employees to work from home, you may be wondering how you can keep team spirit alive in the weeks to come. If you work in an industry where teamwork is a vital part of your business, you may be concerned that your bonds as a team, and your ability to collaborate, may begin to deteriorate as a result of a prolonged period of remote work; however, this does not have to be the case.

There are many simple and cost-effective strategies that you can employ to maintain a sense of community amongst your staff even while going an extended period of time apart. Here are just a few of the ways that you can keep team spirit alive while working from home.   

Encourage Water Cooler Talk

Water cooler talk and socializing on breaks is essential in creating a sense of community in the workplace. Coworkers build bonds that allow them to work better together, and many people even develop friendships that transfer outside of the workplace during their trips to the water cooler. However, there is often a misconception that time spent socializing at work means lost productivity while the opposite may be true. In fact, there is some evidence that small water cooler breaks can boost productivity by helping relieve stress and improve concentration, and it doesn’t hurt that these breaks help employees to bond.

To maintain this sense of community while your company is working remotely, you should create a designated place for casual conversation where people can go throughout the day, such as in a group-chat application like Slack. Make sure to get the conversation going every day with fun ice breakers and conversation starters such as asking people to share their opinion about the latest episode of The Voice or This is Us, or by asking the highly debated question of whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich.

Schedule Time to Play Games

Another fun way to bond and stay connected while working remotely would be to schedule a few times a week where you and your team play games as a group. Platforms like Kahoot and Steam make it easy for groups to play games together remotely using their interactive platforms. You may even be surprised to learn that these platforms not only keep team spirit up, but they may also help certain team members to come out of their shell, causing your team to actually grows closer. Some games like Codenames are even designed specifically for group-chat platforms, making them easy for you and your team to play remotely.    

Create Competition With Team Fitness Goals

Friendly competition can also be an exciting way to build and maintain relationships amongst your staff during a period of telecommuting. For instance, you could consider splitting your staff into teams and giving the teams fitness goals that they have to collaborate on to achieve. Investing in team Fitbits or similar technology can allow everyone to track their goals, share progress updates, and encourage each other. This is a great way to not only keep team morale up, but it will also encourage physical activity during a time where people may be less active.  

Share Your Hobbies

Considering people are more likely to spend time at home while social distancing protocols are in effect, it is likely that everyone will be spending more time on hobbies or catching up on the latest Netflix series. A great way to promote team spirit would be to encourage people to talk about what they are doing, watching, or reading to pass the time, and create a chat channel that encourages staff to participate in the same activity remotely. For instance, get everyone to agree to read the same book, or watch the same TV show, and set a time to talk about it in a few days. A remote book club can allow staff to bond over shared interests. 

Even if you and your staff work from home, this does not mean that you can’t have team spirit. Contact us to learn more about steps that you can take to keep team morale high while working from home during the coronavirus. 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Benjamin Franklin was certainly correct when he coined the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This time-honored quote is just as true in today’s world of information technology, as it was true hundreds of years ago in completely different sets of circumstances.

When it comes to technology — specifically, data loss prevention, an ounce of preparedness can go a long way in either avoiding a data disaster altogether, or at least mitigating its impact if a business should ever encounter a man-made disaster.

What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss prevention is both a set of software technologies and an overall business strategy. Combined together, and both sharing the same goal of ensuring users are prohibited from sending vital or sensitive data to entities outside the sphere of their corporate network, companies can be assured they are doing everything they can to protect one of their most vital corporate resources — their data. 

Why is it Needed?

While some of the more obvious pieces of data that an employee would not share with others, such as employee social security numbers, birthdates, and proprietary information about a company’s key business processes, some information is not so black and white. A company may want to list an employee’s name and contact information somewhere on their website so they will be accessible to potential clients.

However, by making this information public, it also creates the potential for hackers to pose as the employee and then attempt to contact another employee within the company, perhaps asking for confidential information. Unfortunately, the unsuspecting employee doesn’t realize they’ve just been a victim of a phishing attack until it’s too late.

Making it Happen 

As today’s hackers become more sophisticated, the creation of a data loss prevention strategy means it’s critical for businesses to review every piece of data that employees deal with and determine the level of protection needed. Once a business reviews all the information that flows through their company, it’s time to turn to software technologies to make sure their data is continually protected.

Fortunately, there are fully automated software technologies available that can examine all of a company’s data, along with the organization’s policies for handling each data type. The software application then decides the level of protection required based upon the company’s outlined policies. If an employee attempts to pass along information to someone who is not cleared to receive the data, a warning message from the security software will pop up, alerting the employee to their incorrect action and the software will prevent the information from proceeding any further.

How to Find Help 

While it certainly sounds like a good idea to evaluate all corporate data, devise a strategy, and then find software that will fit within a company’s strategic plan, in reality, it’s a daunting task for most companies. Corporate leaders are simply not so immersed in the world of technology to stay focused on all the new and more complicated ways in which hackers attempt to steal data.

It just isn’t realistic to think a business whose focus is on running their organization in an entirely different industry, has the technological expertise to sift through all their data to determine the level of protection required for each piece of information. And it takes some expertise to marry the right security technologies to an individual company to ensure they have just the right amount of data protection they need.

Summary

If you would like to know more about creating a data loss prevention strategy, we can help. We can assist in evaluating your organization’s data, as well as select the right software applications that will provide the level of protection you need.

Please contact us today for more information.

Why Business Owners 12x More Likely to Be a Cyber Security Target and What You Can Do About It

As a business owner or operator, it is up to you to protect yourself and your employees from cyber attacks. Unfortunately, many small business owners either underestimate the damage a cyber attack can cause or fail to take the proper steps to protect themselves. Below is a look at some reasons why business owners are more likely to become a victim of cyber attacks and some steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Why are Business Owners More Susceptible to Cyber Attacks?

A recent study by Verizon highlights how vulnerable business owners are to cyber security attacks. When compared to other employees, business owners and senior executives are a dozen times more apt to become a victim of a cyber security attack. Small businesses were especially likely to be targeted, accounting for 43% of cyber attacks and data breaches. Here are a few reasons why business owners and executives are more at risk:

1) They are incredibly busy

Business owners and top executives are usually preoccupied with the day to day activities of running a business. They are so busy focusing on customer issues, troubleshooting, and promoting their business that they do not have time to think about cybersecurity. 

2) They often know little about protecting themselves

In addition to having little time to think about IT threats, business owners typically know very little about cybersecurity. They have no idea about the most common threats or what measures they can take to protect themselves.

3) They think they are immune to attacks

Small business owners, in particular, are especially likely to think that they will never become a target of a cyber attack. They often assume that hackers will target larger, more profitable companies, and therefore focus little on prevention.

4) They underestimate the damage an attack can cause

With the average cost of a cyber attack now exceeding $1 million, a cyber attack can spell financial doom for a business – especially a small one. Between lost productivity, service disruptions, and a poor customer experience, cyber attacks can cause lasting damage to a business.

What are some simple steps you can take to help prevent attacks?

The path to preventing cyber attacks begins with knowledge and training. By having a keen understanding of your risks, you will be motivated to increase your focus on cybersecurity. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from cyber attacks:

  • Make cybersecurity a top priority at your business
  • Incorporate cybersecurity details into your training initiatives
  • Ensure data is kept in a safe, secure location
  • Implement security surveying and testing procedures
  • Closely manage your internet firewall protection

What is the single best way to protect yourself from cyber attacks?

As outlined above, there are many reasons why business owners are at an increased risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. And while there are some measures you can take to help prevent these problems, the single best way to protect yourself and your business is to seek the services of an experienced IT partner. An accomplished IT partner will work with you to educate you and your team about the most common threats. More importantly, they will arm you with a strategic plan to protect you from those threats.

As New York’s premier provider of IT services, AE Technology Group is your solution to preventing cyber security attacks. We invite you to contact us to discover why business owners across NYC and Long Island trust us to protect their identity and their companies. For 20 years, we have delivered five-star IT support and management to businesses of all sizes. We look forward to giving you and your business the cyber security protection you deserve!

How to Avoid Disaster – 6 Steps to Business Continuity

Robert Burns was correct when he wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” As much as every business owner wants to (and should) plan for success, at the same time they should also understand their ability to continually thrive may very well depend on surviving an unexpected crisis. Businesses that proactively plan for unforeseen events will likely be able to meet the rare but really tough challenges, while those companies who only focus on day-to-day challenges will find it extremely difficult if not impossible, to thrive beyond a true disaster.

What If?

A positive thing about considering “what if”, is that brainstorming about the worst that can happen provides immense value in helping business owners prepare beforehand to meet a potential challenge. If you are a business owner, consider how prepared your company will be if ever faced with one of these unexpected crises:

  • Physical Damage – What if a natural disaster occurs such as a flood, fire, or an extensive power outage that results in physical damage to company building(s), equipment, inventory, etc.? Is your business prepared if such an event occurs?
  • A Lost Resource – Vital resources are not always physical. Sometimes a business might rely very heavily on a supplier or a key employee that makes a valuable contribution to the company. If one of your suppliers goes bankrupt or a valued employee decides to leave, is your company prepared for that?
  • Crime – Depending upon the type of business, a company could become a crime victim through theft of a physical asset, a virtual loss of data, or theft of intellectual property. Do you have a plan in place if your delivery truck is stolen or a hacker is holding your data for ransom?
  • Data Loss – Data loss can occur in a variety of ways. Online data thieves and hackers are always looking for companies to exploit. Poorly trained employees may make an error that results in a significant loss of data, or perhaps a disgruntled employee sabotages the company before they leave. Regardless of the reason for the loss, most companies would be significantly hampered by a loss of corporate data. 
  • Equipment Failure – Sometimes equipment fails as part of a natural disaster. Perhaps a fire or flood has destroyed a company’s telecom systems, core IT equipment, or perhaps an owner was neglectful in replacing old, outdated equipment in a timely manner. 
  • Lost Access – Sometimes an external resource has its own data breach which wreaks havoc on your ability to do business. Perhaps a bank account or credit card is frozen due to suspected fraud by a third party, or a fired employee removes the ability for employees to access corporate software systems. As a business owner, are you prepared for such events?

Preparing a Plan

No business needs to fall victim to an unexpected disaster. Avoiding a crisis is within reach of every company willing to prepare a plan for potential disaster. An ideal way to start preparing is by employing a six-step process designed to tackle every catastrophic challenge. The first step begins with an analysis of a company’s vulnerabilities and risks. The second step involves assessing one’s current state of readiness, along with identifying weak areas. Step three consists of constructing a plan designed to thoroughly cover every area of a business with regard to each potential crisis.

It should come as no surprise since communication is so important, that step four consists of communicating the plan to the entire team so everyone is thoroughly trained on how to respond to a disaster. Step five includes regular monitoring and updating of “the plan” since over time most businesses naturally change and evolve. Lastly, step six involves bringing a fresh perspective to the table by employing external help. A new perspective that can help fill in the gaps by providing an additional level of expertise.

If you would like to know more about how to ensure your business survives and thrives beyond every potential crisis, please contact us.