3 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Remote Workforce

3 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Remote Workforce

According to a Harvard Business Review study, 71 percent of the managers surveyed believe that employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in overall organizational success. Considering that most organizations shifted to remote work in 2020, it’s fair to say that every organization could use more work-from-home motivation.

In today’s fast-paced environment, it can be challenging for businesses to keep their team focused and connected. But suppose you can find creative ways to increase your remote team’s engagement. In that case, you will see increased productivity, improved work quality and a higher retention rate of top talent. If you are interested in boosting remote workforce engagement, review these three creative ways to motivate your remote team. For more ways to empower your remote workforce, download our Ultimate Guide.

1) Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can have face-to-face interactions from anywhere. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack can boost engagement and help create a workplace culture that everyone loves. Daily meetings on video are now part of the new normal. There are several other ways that video conferencing technology can increase workforce engagement, including:

-Send Quick Video Messages: Every interaction doesn’t have to be live. Break up the monotony of the video call by sending remote employees prerecorded video messages. Keep them up to date on projects, offer training tips or thank them for their hard work.

-Hold One-on-One Meetings: The perception is that remote workers want to be left alone. The reality is that most remote workers wish to have personalized attention. Hold bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each member of your team and listen to what they have to say.

-Host Virtual Events: Successful companies have shown an incredible amount of creativity to boost engagement through fun virtual events. Whether it’s a virtual lunch-and-learn, happy hour, trivia game or holiday party, help your team facilitate ways to interact with one another outside of work.

2) Keep Them Connected from Anywhere

To fight off feelings of isolation, remote teams want to connect with their colleagues. Closer communication can also lead to a happier, more productive workforce, so it’s a win-win for employers and remote teams alike to stay connected. With Microsoft 365, remote teams have access to communication tools like Microsoft Teams. This cloud-based platform keeps them engaged in a centralized location for all their communication needs. They can message each other, organize group chats, schedule video calls and share documents in real time.

Team communication tools improve your project workflow, and they can also help team members build relationships. Employees can chat through messenger, celebrate special events in group channels and hold one-on-one video meetings all in one convenient application. The latest technology keeps teams connected and collaborating at their best — and it also increases worker satisfaction.

3) Show Them You Appreciate Their Hard Work

High performers expect to be recognized, which can be a little more challenging when your team is working from home. Fortunately, several technology tools can help you reward your team how you see fit. Sending virtual gifts through email to your team never goes out of style, but if you want to increase company-wide visibility, give praise through a cloud-based HR tool like Bamboo HR or Zenefits. Another option is to invest in an online rewards program like Bonusly to gift your hard-working employees some additional perks. Regardless of how you reward your team, the goal is to show appreciation, improve your company culture and motivate your team.

Reach Out to a Technology Partner You Can Trust

When you drive work-from-home engagement and properly motivate your remote workforce, you can improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, reduce overhead and reach your business goals. We hope this blog has helped you learn a few creative ways to motivate your team with the newest technologies. If you are interested in leveraging technology to improve the way your remote team works together, download our Ultimate Guide to Empower Your Remote Workforce to learn more.

How Your MSP Can Help You Navigate the Impact of 2020

How Your MSP Can Help You Navigate the Impact of 2020

2020 has been far more educational than most organizations realize. This past year’s events have set the stage for how all business will be conducted moving forward. The strongest and most dynamic companies adapted their communications and collaboration technologies to work efficiently from any location. This change enabled them to have the foundation necessary to compete. Will you be among them?

The road ahead still has blind corners, but making the right changes now will prepare you for any twists and turns in the professional world moving forward. Discover how your MSP can help you take the lessons learned in 2020 and adapt them for future success.

The Latest Tech is Essential

There’s a good chance that some or all your staff switched to remote work at some point in 2020. This was a headache for many businesses because of the numerous unknowns. Business leaders found themselves asking:

  • What is the best video chat and phone application?
  • How will my staff collaborate on projects?
  • Is there a way to protect my data during remote access?

While it may have been a hectic few months, the businesses who found the answers to these questions got back to work before the rest. With a reliable VoIP solution, your team will be able to video chat and call internally and externally from wherever an internet connection exists. Additionally, a cloud file-sharing software like Microsoft’s SharePoint can provide secure and efficient storage. With a robust suite of cybersecurity software, your data will remain safe no matter where it’s accessed. When you have the tools necessary to deal with the unexpected, you can compete more easily.

Fewer Headaches, More Success

Downtime is the enemy of any business. There are a lot of incidents that you expect and plan for by investing in technology. According to The Business Journals, the top three causes of downtime are:

  • Cybersecurity threats
  • Power or Internet outages
  • Hardware failure

This doesn’t consider the likelihood of natural disasters or workspace disasters, like a tornado or building fire, respectively. When your organization is prepared for anything, you stand a much better chance of decreasing downtime and getting your team back to work. No matter if you’re facing a flood, the next pandemic or you simply want to open up your remote staff options, you’ll be free to plan your next steps.

Your MSP Can Make It Happen

Investing in the latest tech to maintain communications and mitigate downtime is a must, but you still have a business to run. Are you prepared to ensure your investment is set up correctly and maintained so your staff could communicate and collaborate at all times? With Communications as a Service (CaaS), you don’t have to worry about it.

CaaS allows you to hand off the planning, deployment and maintenance of your communications concerns from the very start so that you can stay focused on your daily tasks. When you partner with a managed services provider, this becomes your reality. They take the time to understand your current needs and future goals to ensure you have the communications services you need.

We Can Get You There

With the right technology in place, you and your team won’t waste valuable time troubleshooting communications tech. As your technology provider, we want you to know how to best use your IT. This way, you can unite your entire staff with communications and collaboration technology that fully integrates with your existing systems. Allow our expert staff to prepare your business for what comes next with the best communications and collaboration technology available.

Get the conversation started when you meet with us. Contact us today!

Open the Door to Success

Open the Door to Success

“Communication is key” may read as cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Whether you’re aiming to grow a business relationship or strengthen an internal team’s ability to collaborate, clear and concise communication will always unlock success.

Whether your employees are returning to the office, continuing their remote work or a hybrid of the two, technologies that increase efficiency and improve internal and external communication are vital to what your organization can accomplish. With the right technologies supporting your organization’s communication and collaboration efforts, you can better position yourself to compete in your channel.

How the World Works

No matter your industry, the working world has changed. Many businesses still aren’t sure if their entire staff will return to the office by the first quarter of 2021. Either way, you need solutions in place that will increase productivity and make your work easier. The right communication and collaboration technologies can aid:

  • Meetings
  • File Sharing
  • Correspondence
  • Data Storage/Backup

No matter if your staff is separated by feet or miles, before next year begins, your need for dependable and efficient communication technologies remains quite real. With the right solutions in place, you can adequately take on the above-mentioned tasks and boost productivity.

Great Tech Makes It Happen

The easier it is for your team to share ideas, data and documents, the easier it will be for them to complete their tasks with greater quality at higher speeds. Most organizations have some form of internal office instant messaging system and use a video conferencing service. However, if these systems aren’t operating as a unified solution, you and your team are wasting time and money.

With a centralized system like Microsoft Office, you can work with greater efficiency. Microsoft Office is much more than spreadsheets and a word processor. It allows you to securely store and share documents internally, and with clients via SharePoint. Moreover, the Teams application enables you to communicate via instant messaging, phone, and video with greater reliability than the independent competitors.

When you connect everyone in a unified data system, you will reach new levels of success beyond your initial expectations.

In-Service of Your Success

While these solutions sound great on paper, migrating your entire business and its data over to the Microsoft Office suite is a challenging hurdle to clear. The most straightforward solve for most companies is to invest in Communications as a Service (CaaS). This service places the burden of unifying your phone, video conferencing, messaging and data collaboration on the shoulders of a technology partner.

They will work with your team and internal technology professional to move you to the solution you want with little to no downtime. Run your company on the best technology available without stopping its progress when you allow a team of professionals to provide CaaS.

How We Can Help

Without the right technology in place, you and your team could be wasting valuable time on troubleshooting inefficient programs that don’t communicate with each other. With the right technology provider, you can unite your entire staff with collaboration software that is fully integrated. Allow our expert staff to prime your business for 2021 by bolstering your communication and collaboration needs.

Get more work done from anywhere when you meet with us.

4 Ways to Increase Collaboration for Your Remote Workforce

4 Ways to Increase Collaboration for Your Remote Workforce

Before the arrival of COVID-19, less than five percent of the U.S. population was working remotely full-time. A Gallup poll conducted in early April 2020 determined that over 60 percent of employed Americans worked from home during the crisis. This year, remote work became a necessity. With social distancing guidelines, government restrictions and serious concerns over a health crisis, businesses worldwide have had to adapt to the times, including allowing all non-essential employees to work from home.

Naturally, transitioning your workplace to remote capabilities at the drop of a mask has presented its challenges. Cybersecurity concerns, an isolated workforce and communication issues are a few of the most pressing issues facing businesses with teams suddenly removed from their everyday work environments. Fortunately, leveraging technology is one solution that can help mitigate many of these issues. With the right people, processes and technologies in place, your entire team can work together from anywhere in a secure, connected, flexible workspace.

Collaboration and Technology

In its most fundamental sense, collaboration is the process of motivating employees to work together toward a shared purpose to reach a collective goal. With the right resources in place and the right technology experts in your corner, you can enable more employee interaction, spark collaboration and increase productivity. Several innovative technologies are available to businesses of all sizes that can maximize workplace collaboration — even during a pandemic.

Let’s discuss four ways your business can thrive in 2020 and beyond.

1) Trust in the Cloud: According to Cisco, cloud data centers will process 94 percent of workloads in 2021. Cloud computing technology gives businesses direct access to the information they need. With workers in the office and at home, file storage applications are secure and allow employees to instantly access and share information. With more flexibility and easy remote access, your team’s productivity will go through the roof.

2) Upgrade Your Software: Cloud technologies do more than store valuable information. When you integrate the cloud with Microsoft Office 365, employees work smarter, more efficiently and improve communication. Teams have access to all their familiar applications. They can work on projects simultaneously, share worksheets in real time, and reduce overlap, miscommunication and other issues that bog down productivity levels.

3) Use Team Collaboration Tools: Microsoft Teams and Slack are two forms of team communication platforms that provide an entire team with a secure, centralized place to communicate and streamline their workflows. Employees can instant message, share files, set up virtual conference calls and collaborate on projects from anywhere. Filtering out the fluff of a traditional email system saves the workforce time and increases productivity.

4) Engage Your Team With Video: Video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype can help your team stay connected and accelerate the decision-making process compared with an email or phone call. Video conferencing tools enhance meetings with recording features, chat messaging, and screen-sharing options for visual engagement. Virtual conference rooms can be an engaging way to assemble your team during a time when they may feel isolated.

The Future of Collaboration

Although many businesses are moving to the above technologies out of necessity, they can become a constant and reliable component of any business model moving forward. Considering that flexible working has become the “new normal,” companies that continue to invest in collaborative tools that increase productivity will work seamlessly in the present day and thrive in the future. We can help your business develop a reliable and affordable IT technology infrastructure that can increase team collaboration and productivity.

Get set up for success with the best collaborative tools. Contact us today.

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Six Steps to Compliance

Six Steps to Compliance

“Most departments view legal and compliance support as key to smart growth. They want to enable the business to balance risk with reward, and to modernize their own operations through process and technology improvements. But [Gartner] found a wide gap between the importance of initiatives and leaders’ confidence in their ability to solve them.”  -Ross Gardiner, Director, Advisory, Gartner

If you’re like most busy executives, compliance is a priority — but it’s not necessarily at the top of your to-do list. Yet businesses of all sizes are governed by federal (and sometimes even international) regulations, and whether you like them or not, they’re in place for a good reason. As a business owner, it’s up to you to stay compliant and protect your precious data, but it’s a responsibility that nobody should shoulder alone.

You don’t have to be intimidated by the regulatory landscape when you’ve got technology on your side. With the right IT infrastructure in place, your company can navigate this tricky terrain while keeping everyone’s private information secure. Whether you’re running a healthcare testing facility, financial institution or a small to medium-sized business, you’re bound to face compliance challenges. From HIPAA to PCI and everything in between, compliance is simpler when you leverage technology to your advantage.

See what an industry-specific compliance plan looks like. Contact us today.

Conquer Your Compliance Checklist

  • Step One: Conduct Research
    Maintaining compliance can be intimidating if you don’t know where to begin. Figure out what regulations apply to your industry, what your current protocols are looking like and what you need to do to secure your business and safeguard your data going forward.
  • Step Two: Establish Firm Policies
    When you have to protect patient health records, credit card information and other sensitive information from data breaches, make sure your employees follow the proper procedures. Educating your workforce via security awareness training is one option.
  • Step Three: Get Technical
    Work with IT professionals to update your technology and determine what it will take to bring your business up to speed. Avoid falling into the treacherous zone of noncompliance by protecting your perimeter, including setting up firewalls and more.
  • Step Four: Encrypt Your Data
    Hackers are hoping that you adopt new technology, use the default security setting and forget about it. Take proactive measures to keep personal details regarding medical records and financial transactions safe and abide by government regulations.
  • Step Five: Protect Hardware
    When you’re conducting business virtually and making important online transactions, your data will be accessed remotely from countless devices. Mobile device management is the way to mitigate privacy concerns and stay compliant.
  • Step Six: Get an Assessment
    Once you’ve done what you can on your end to tighten up your processes and procedures, it’s time to enlist the help of professionals. A free assessment or consultation can prepare you for a compliance audit and other potential obstacles.

After going through the above checklist, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. But by putting in time and effort ahead of time, you’re giving your business the best chance of staying compliant — and staying in business. Remember, every regulation put in place is done so for a reason, and if you value your customers’ trust, do the right thing. Invest enough resources into protecting your valuable data to keep you covered no matter what comes your way.

How We Can Help

Running a business is hard enough without worrying about compliance. Let a managed services provider take some stress off your plate by setting you up with the IT solutions you need at a price you can afford. When your good name and your clients’ personal data is on the line, what could be more important? Spend more time focusing on growing your brand and less time worrying about data theft with help from a trusted managed services provider (MSP). Connect with an expert today, and take compliance off the table tomorrow.

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How to Overcome Compliance Hurdles

How to Overcome Compliance Hurdles

Running a successful business is hard work, and at the end of the day, the last thing you want to be worrying about is noncompliance. But in many industries, executives have no choice but to devote time and energy to meeting federal, and in some cases, even global regulations.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to overcome common compliance obstacles, and whether you’re dealing with HIPPA, SOX, PCI or anything else, educating yourself about these regulations is the first step. Read on to learn about the top five hurdles you should be on the lookout for as you strive to meet current regulations.

Prepare for Compliance Challenges.

Avoid These Five Common Compliance Pitfalls:

    1. Dismissing the Internet of Things: The Internet of things has the ability to both positively and negatively impact your business in unanticipated ways. With the advent of emerging technology and highly interconnected devices, nearly every industry is struggling to keep up with evolving regulations and protect transmitted data. Getting educated and working with a vCIO will ensure you’re prepared to handle all things IoT.
    2. Missing Update Notifications: Even executives “x out” of routine software update alerts, yet we all know how critical these updates and patches can be to the security of our networks and devices. Software alerts are designed to help protect your network from cyberthreats, including data breaches that can result in lapses in compliance. Don’t let something as simple as a missed update throw you off course. Optimize your software settings and train your workforce.
    3. Ignoring the BYOD Reality: Employees are using their own phones, laptops and tablets to get work done every day—and in many instances, that is actually a good thing for today’s innovative employers. But the rise of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture means that businesses must now take additional measures to secure their networks and protect their data. Managing mobile devices with the help of IT professionals is a sure-fire way to limit your exposure in this part of modern office life.
    4. Underfunding Your IT Infrastructure: Investing in technology and IT services should be a top priority. Regardless of whether you’re a small retail shop or a large hospital, if you handle information that must be kept confidential, you need to take every precaution you can to make sure it stays that way. To meet government standards for consumer and patient privacy, you must keep up with regulations that are routinely tweaked to address evolving cyberthreats. Conforming to the latest requirements is easier when you’ve got the right IT infrastructure in place.
    5. Dismissing EDI Threats: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) compliance is simplified when you have access to the right technology. By putting tech to work for you, it is possible to minimize stress, reduce the odds of getting costly fines and protect your good reputation without losing sleep. But it is going to require comprehensive cybersecurity services that can take on contemporary cyberthreats. While the electronic transmission of data presents unique challenges, there are secure IT solutions designed to specifically address your industry-specific concerns.

How We Can Help

Don’t lose precious time worrying about compliance on top of everything else on your to-do list. As your trusted MSP partner, we’ll set you up with everything you need to meet government regulations. Stay focused on growing your brand while we clear compliance roadblocks out of your way. Contact us today, and enjoy peace of mind tomorrow.

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