Improve Engagement in Hybrid Environments

The modern workplace looks different as many roles have moved to remote work while others remain in the office. The hybrid work environment can be challenging when working through collaboration and participation, particularly in meetings. Creating a work environment that embraces equity is essential to ensure all workers can contribute and communicate equally. How do you ensure that your hybrid workforce, regardless of location, can participate equally? 

How to Improve Engagement and Participation in Hybrid Meetings 

Meetings in a hybrid work environment can be beneficial for several reasons. They provide a level of flexibility and can be recorded for future use and to recall meeting highlights when needed. While there are many benefits, challenges can arise that may stifle engagement and participation. Often meetings are dominated by those physically in meeting rooms, while remote workers can feel more like an audience. 

Inequity within a hybrid workplace can lead to workers feeling discouraged, morale lowered, and their well-being compromised. When worker morale is low, companies see an increase in turnover and lose key employees. Increasing engagement and participation requires the efforts of everyone on the team, from management, in-house workers, and remote workers. 

Actions for Remote Employees to Improve Engagement

  • Keep Camera Turned On – Having the camera on for all remote workers creates a more inviting interaction for all parties. With the camera on, workers feel seen and increases participation.
  • Encourage Engagement – You want to encourage engagement by directing the conversation, asking questions, and directing them to feel comfortable and engage as if they were in person. 
  • Do Individual Checks Meeting Software – Ensure your remote workers meeting software is working properly and that they can hear and speak without issue. Ensuring they have everything in working order helps motivate remote team members to participate. 

Actions for In-Person Employees to Improve Engagement 

  • Remember the Remote Experience – It’s important to remember that remote work and attending meetings has their own set of unique challenges. When a remote member has issues, in-house workers should show empathy and wait for the issue to resolve. 
  • Save Side Conversations for After the Meeting – Stay on task, focus on the meeting at hand, and avoid starting side conversations with in-person attendees to avoid making the remote team feel left out. 
  • Speak to the Camera as if it Were a Person – Make sure when engaging remote workers treat the camera as if they were in person. Make eye contact and use the same cues in a normal, empathetic conversation to encourage remote workers to get more involved.

Actions for Meeting Host 

  • Set Aside Speaking Time – As the meeting host, you must ensure everyone feels included. You should actively call on everyone equally or even set an agenda that includes roles and duties on the topic of discussion. 
  • Engaging Small Talk – At the beginning of the meeting, start with some controlled small talk to personalize the experience and start fun discussions that make everyone feel involved and help everyone get to know each other better. 

A good hybrid workforce that collaborates and communicates well requires a great IT team. AE Technology Group can help equip your employees with the tools they need to support any workplace strategy. Call us today at (516) 536-5006 to learn more about how we can help you with your technology needs. 

What is Digital Friction and How to Reduce It in the Workplace

Friction can present itself in many ways in your organization. With the transformation of many workplaces moving towards more digital collaboration, friction has become an increasing concern. Friction in the workplace can be harmful to everyone involved and negatively impact job performance and productivity.

Digital or workplace friction needs to be addressed by employers to create a successful environment where employees can thrive. Digital friction is an unnecessary effort exerted by employees while using technology for work that can reduce productivity. What causes digital friction and interpersonal friction, and what can be done to help resolve these issues to ensure the business continues to be productive? 

The Impact of Friction in the Workplace

Digital friction can have a negative impact on your employee’s workday. It is often caused by more tools and applications, multiple systems to find and store information, and more communication channels than needed. Too many systems and tools can overwhelm employees, hindering focus and productivity. 

Communication with coworkers should be a straightforward process, but when every coworker is engaged in conversations through chat channels that may not pertain to them directly, it can be a stressor, especially when they are trying to focus on a particular task. While digital tools were created to help teams communicate, connect, and collaborate more effectively, they create an environment of unnecessary stressors.

How to Ease Digital Friction in the Workplace

Streamlining is the simplest way to reduce the impacts of digital friction in the workplace. Reducing the number of tools needed can ease frustrations and create a more productive workplace. Review your tools, apps, and processes and determine which are the most efficient and can continue to add value to your team. Once your remove anything unnecessary, you reduce the friction your employees feel in their day-to-day.

Interpersonal Friction in the Remote or Hybrid Workplace

Interpersonal friction is another type of friction common in many workplaces, and with the increase of remote work, it has become more of a challenge to overcome. Interpersonal friction is the conflict between at least two people within a team or organization. These conflicts can occur from poor communication, differing perspectives, or interfering with goals. It’s a friction that can also easily go unaddressed as it’s hard to identify with working in remote locations, and management tends to want to wait to address situations in person.

This animosity team members can feel towards each other can impact their work, productivity, and focus and directly impact their success. In any situation regarding interpersonal friction, it’s important to manage it as soon as it has become observable. Be vigilant in spotting potential issues such as changes in tone or body language during team meetings, whether through conferencing software or through calls. Ensuring the team has great tools for communication, without overloading the number of tools, to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively can help eliminate interpersonal and digital friction. Many modern platforms offer diverse modes of communication to help best fit the team member and the project. 

Contact Us Today!

Healthcare Technology: Improving Privacy

It seems that the healthcare system is finally catching up with the rest of the world from a healthcare technology standpoint. Advancements in healthcare IT are aiding in stabilizing costs and increasing access to healthcare treatment. However, these innovations, while much needed, raise serious concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity. Today we’ll take a look at how exactly the healthcare system is advancing technologically, and what that means for your data privacy. 

Technological Improvements to Healthcare

While drastic improvements are being made to technology within homes and businesses, for many years it seemed that the healthcare system was stuck with the same outdated methods of doing things. Luckily, recent technological advances in Healthcare IT are bringing our antiquated healthcare system into the 21st century and making big improvements to its function and accessibility. 

Easier Access to Medication

One of the biggest holdups when it comes to medication delivery has always been gaining prior authorization, meaning patients cannot gain access to their medication without a prescription from their doctor and insurance approval. This process used to take days or longer to complete, but with the digitization of the prior authorization process, patients no longer have to wait this excruciating amount of time before starting their treatment. 

Smarter Medical Devices

Smart healthcare IT devices such as EMRs allow doctors, nurses, and patients to gain access to essential medical information faster than ever before. EMRs are electronic medical records, and they have completely changed how medical record keeping is done in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Not only does this make doctors’ appointments faster for the patient but allows healthcare workers information that may not have been available to them in the past. 

Better Emergency Strategies

The COVID-19 pandemic, while a tragedy, has taught the healthcare IT world a lot about the essential updates needed in the event of another global emergency. Healthcare organizations now use advanced databases and other online tools to get ahead of potential outbreaks of contagious diseases quicker and with more accuracy. 

How Does this Effect Data Privacy?

While all of this advancement is wonderful and has so many benefits for healthcare professionals and patients alike, It isn’t a perfect system yet. The more the healthcare system turns to technology for personal health information (PHI) storage and sharing, the greater the risk of cyberattack. This has been an inhibitor of advancement in Healthcare IT for many years, as cybercriminals are always on the hunt for an individual’s personal information, and nothing is more personal than PHI. 

Therefore, the more healthcare organizations and insurance companies focus on healthcare IT implementation through databases like EMRs, the more they’ll have to invest in cybersecurity. Since this is such a new issue, there are currently no regulations on the issue. There’s a push in the U.S. to have the Food and Drug Administration establish clear cybersecurity guidelines that organizations must meet to protect their patient’s information.

Have you noticed an increase or change in the use of technology at your recent doctor’s visits? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

Visit our other blogs as we discuss how technology is evolving and what that means for businesses and society today. 

Contact Us Today!

3 Simple Problems That Cause A Slow Computer

 

Sometimes you might experience a slow computer and wonder when it’s time to call in the experts. After all, you don’t know how much you might break your budget, right? Depending on the issue, you might be able to resolve it yourself. We’ve put together three of the most common computer repair scenarios that you might encounter and how they should be handled. 

Your Computer is Slow 

There are countless reasons your computer might be running poorly. One example is having too many applications or too many web browser tabs open at the same time. If you try to do too much on a device that is not meant to handle that much work, of course, it’s going to be slow. Granted, a slow computer could be a sign of other underlying problems, so you might want to call someone about it anyway, but for a short-term fix, try closing some apps or doing less resource-intensive tasks. You can always try the good ol’ restart, too. 

A Bad Internet Connection 

Sometimes your computer might simply be experiencing a slow Internet connection, especially if your business relies on cloud-hosted productivity applications like Google Workspace or Office 365. Check your Internet connection by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. If you are not connected to the network, or there is something wrong with the network (like slowdown, for example), you can try restarting the device or your router. 

Your Computer Makes Lots of Noise 

Computers are complex pieces of machinery that have countless internal parts. Due to the mechanical nature of some of these parts, they may start to go faulty at some point, and trust us when we say that any loud noise coming from your computer is a sure sign that something is wrong with it. You can replace certain parts easily enough, but we recommend just calling the experts at AE Technology Group and letting us handle your issues. This takes the guesswork out of the equation.  

We mentioned earlier that you might be concerned about breaking your computer repair budget by calling in experts, but we want to tell you that with a concept known as managed services, you’ll never have to worry about breaking the bank again—at least where technology is concerned. See, with managed services, you essentially get access to all-you-can-eat technology help according to a service agreement. You’ll never have to worry about how much a call to your provider will cost because all of that has already been ironed out in the agreement.  

AE Technology wants to be your go-to IT resource for any computer repair or technical issues that your staff experiences throughout the workday. With us on your side, you’ll never have to worry about technology problems derailing productivity for extended periods of time, because you know we’ll be on the case as soon as it’s reported. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006. 

Implementing the Best Technology Solutions for Your Business

Businessman touching tablet and laptop. Management global structure networking and data exchanges customer connection on workplace. Business technology and digital marketing network concept.

Technology is one of those parts of your operational infrastructure that plays a massive role, even if you don’t realize it. For quite some time, you’ve been using all of the standard fares for business technology, such as computers, server units, and networking components. All technology solutions for your business must eventually be replaced, so your company must have an established approach to make this happen in the most seamless and least stressful way possible.

It all starts by having a solid IT implementation strategy. Let’s take a look at some ideas you should consider when looking at your business technology strategy.

Identifying Your Technology Pain Points

When considering technology, you must think with intention. If you don’t, you might implement a “solution” that is entirely unnecessary and, thus, makes your network more complex or complicated than it needs to be. It is best to keep things simple when possible, as the more technology you implement for your business, the more opportunities there are for things to go wrong. To make sure you implement technology with intention, you must consider what problems the technology will solve.

Ask yourself, “What challenges does my business face today?” Your answer will determine which problems you want to solve.

Creating a Technology Plan and Moving Forward

Next, you want to consider how you proceed and what solution to implement. There are many choices to make, so you shouldn’t leave anything off the table. Consider multiple solutions to the problem and think about which one is appropriate for your specific needs.

Ask yourself, “How does my chosen option solve the specified problem?” If you can answer this question, then you know that you should seriously entertain implementing that option.

Implementing the Right Technology Solutions for Your Business

Now that you have determined which solution is the best forward, you can start the implementation process. This process might include a needs analysis or a cost breakdown, so whoever is in charge of the implementation process should have access to all of this information. Furthermore, you will also want to have a complete understanding of how much the solution will cost your business to implement and the expected timeline for that implementation.

Ask yourself, “Do I have the means to implement this technology?” If the answer is yes, then you can move forward with confidence.

Get Started Today!

AE Technology Group understands the frustrations of implementing new technology solutions for your business, so we make it our goal to provide accessible technology management and implementation services to all businesses, big or small. To learn more about how we can help your business get any technology solution off the ground, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.