5 ways SMEs Benefit from Automated Call Center Services

Fact: any contact center can benefit from automation. Generally, contact centers are the part of the business that most benefit from automation.

Bringing down costs is often the main motivation, and that’s especially important for SMEs.

But the impact of automated inbound call center services actually runs a lot deeper than that. The other benefits may be less obvious… but that can have as big an impact on a company’s success.

1. Automation can improve the customer experience

If you say ‘automation’ in the call center context, many people think about systems which save money, but which also create horrible experiences for customers.

It doesn’t need to be that way!

Automation can have a major positive impact on how your customer interacts with your brand.

Take Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) for example. CTI can automatically identify customers when they call in.

That’s helpful because:

  • It cuts down on the time they spend in IVR
  • It means they don’t start the call explaining who they are to an agent
  • They don’t need to dig out some long-forgotten customer reference number

CTI is a small example. Automation also enables more ambitious call center services like virtual queueing. Virtual queuing is one of the best ways to reduce waiting time and means your customers don’t get stuck listening to hold music.

One more example – automated outbound SMS. Sending customers an SMS with whatever information they need might mean they don’t even need to wait for an agent. That’s a simple bit of automation that’s guaranteed to reduce call volume and make life a whole lot easier for customers!

2. Automation can improve the *agent* experience

Call centers are bad at retaining staff. Why is that?

One problem that’s common to practically every customer service team is this: they hire people who are bubbly, fun and chatty. After all, that’s the kind of person you want helping customers.

But – most of the work those people end up doing is data entry. And how many people are a good fit for both data entry work and customer service?

Not many.

Here’s how automation can help.

It’s actually pretty simple to automate data entry. In the last point we talked about CTI. Well, CTI means your systems know who your callers are, and can find them in your call center CRM.

And if your system knows who’s calling, it can record information about their call.

There are a ton of examples like this. Automating tickets, automating follow-ups, automating scheduling… the goal is to automate all the boring stuff that no agent wants to do.

That leaves them free to focus on having great interactions. 

3. Automation means clean and shiny data

While we’re thinking about data entry, let’s think about where it goes wrong.

The main issue is human error. Take this blog post – it’s written by a startlingly talented professional, but I’m sure there are a few typos in the mix…

Meanwhile, it’s almost unthinkable for an automated system to make a data entry mistake.

Therefore, if you can automate large swathes of data entry, you’ll get cleaner customer data. What’s more, you can automatically update data across *any* number of systems. 

Here’s an everyday example. An important customer gets in touch to discuss an ongoing issue which the agent is fully able to resolve for them.

No automation? Then the agent will need to update the call log, lose the ticket in your Helpdesk software and make a note in the CRM.

Yes automation? The agent only needs to close the Helpdesk tickets – that information is automatically replicated everywhere else. 

4. Automation makes you far more flexible

Is there anything more important to the long-term health of a contact center than flexibility? Probably not.

Flexibility means reviewing and improving the way you work… but there’s a catch!

If you change the way you work, you have to retrain staff. That costs money and it costs time. It can also be quite frustrating for agents if they;re forever playing catch-up.

But how would it be if your processes are mostly automated? Surely then they’re easy to update?

Yes! In theory… butin practice it 100% depends on how involved the contact center is in designing its own processes.

Here’s a crazy fact: under a quarter of contact centers enjoy full collaboration in the design of their own processes.

It’s for this reason that planners are turning to No-Code automation to bring their ideal call center services to life.

Because there’s no coding required, a non-tech person in the contact center can design and implement the processes they’ve always wanted – and that’s the ticket for an incredible amount of flexibility!

5. Automation can create super personalized services

This is counter-intuitive, right? The more you automate, the more you can personalize services. 

Here’s why.

With automation in the mix, you can design services for every eventuality. You can draw from every piece of data you have about customers and feed that into the service you provide.

Take call routing. The first step in a really personalized service because your ACD system will receive information from surrounding systems. That influences the routing decisions it makes.

What about automatic follow-up actions like SMS or email? You could even be totally proactive by automatically contacting customers with known issues.

And let’s not neglect those cost savings!

Back to where we started. All of the benefits we’ve covered here will, in their own ways, contribute to a healthier bottom line. Some, like clean data, reduce costs. Others, like greater staff and customer retention have a massive cumulative impact on costs.

OIt’s benefits like that which make automation such a must-have for modern call center services!

Best Security and Privacy Tips for Remote Work

With employees across the globe being sent home with laptops, the issue of cybersecurity has gained particular relevance for business owners. Not only do entrepreneurs have to accelerate the digitalization of their companies, but they also have to ensure their digital safety. And when the pandemic-related transformation of businesses comes to an end, a large percentage of employees might wish to continue working remotely. Therefore, it is essential to ensure business employees follow sound digital security practices while working from home.

Let’s take a look at the best security and privacy tips for remote work.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the access control mechanism that makes it more difficult for malicious agents to infiltrate your employees’ devices and your company’s network. With 2FA enabled, a randomly generated code, along with a password, is required to log in to an account. This code can be generated with the help of free apps such as Google Authenticator.

If a cybercriminal steals a password, which is not exceptionally difficult these days, they will not be able to immediately gain access to the system. Given the ease of use and the fact that 2FA is essentially free, this security tip is not to be ignored.

Establish a VPN connection

Virtual private network (VPN) apps allow remote employees to establish a secure connection to counter numerous digital risks.  VPN apps can help to anonymize your employees and shield their privacy, for example. They can also make it harder for cybercriminals to illegally gain access to your office resources such as databases, productivity suites and project management software, among others.

When properly configured, a VPN connection allows employees to use the Internet to access work resources safely while hindering unauthorized access for everyone else. With regards to configuration, it does not require too much technical know-how and can be set-up by virtually anyone. Therefore, even if your company does not have a dedicated IT department, don’t feel discouraged to set up a secure VPN connection for your employees.

Use an Antivirus

Although malware is a constant, unremitting threat, it presents more danger for remote employees than for your office workforce. Whereas it is possible to protect the latter with network and endpoint security measures, the former are left exposed. For this reason, remote team members should be encouraged to install the best antiviruses for Mac or PC. With a security solution running in the background, your employees would gain a considerable degree of protection, not only against malware and viruses, but also against hacking attempts such as phishing.

You are advised to opt for professional rather than free antiviruses. Unlike their free counterparts, professional antiviruses are much more adept at detecting dangers before they spread through computer systems. Also, some commercial security software offers an at-a-glance view of protected assets and prevents individual users from disabling the protection.

Backup critical data

The recent spike of high-profile ransomware attacks proves one thing: no matter how seemingly impregnable your firewall is, someone will eventually bypass it. If the worst does happen, your employees should be able to restore their data without paying an exorbitant ransom. And the most reliable path to recovering your data? That age old practice of backup.

Make sure your employees regularly backup their data to public clouds such as Amazon S3, Azure or Wasabi. With the use of automated data protection solutions, both backup and recovery processes can be effortless and fast.

Run cybersecurity training

No matter how reliable your digital safeguards are, if the workforce is not familiar with safe browsing habits and other essentials of cybersecurity, a breach will inevitably occur. Therefore, it is of huge importance to ensure that every employee knows how to protect their own and their company’s digital assets.

It does not matter that much who conducts cybersecurity training in your company. Whether it is a member of the IT department or a third-party contractor, the important thing is to run the training regularly. After all, the cybersecurity landscape is constantly shifting and you need to ensure that all employees have up-to-date knowledge on how to deal with any potential threats.

To Wrapping Up

As the number of high-profile breaches continues to increase, you have to take actionable measures to tighten cybersecurity in your company. Even with a small amount of effort in the areas where it matters most, you can noticeably improve your cybersecurity preparedness, thereby saving your company’s digital assets and protecting your employees’ privacy.

22 Remote Team Management Techniques That Will Save You From Stress

In 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, many companies were forced to shift employees to remote work. But not everyone was ready for such a sudden transition. Dealing with remote teams has caused enormous difficulties for managers. How do you motivate employees to work remotely? What tools and platforms to use? How to control employees and avoid mistakes?

Treat remote work with interest and remain calm. It is a great way to test the flexibility of your business processes and improve them. In this article, we’re talking about effective ways to manage your remote team to get great results from your work.

What Tools Your Remote Team May Need

For starters, divide all remote employees into several teams and assign supervisors. It is believed that one distributed team managed by a manager should not have more than 8-10 participants. Larger teams are more difficult to manage, especially remotely.

1. Choose a remote team and a project management system

To manage a remote team, you can’t do without a CRM system. You need to create a “virtual office” to concentrate the main work with projects there.

● Trello is a colorful and user-friendly platform where you can create project boards, assign a person to be responsible for a certain task, etc.
● Asana is a convenient tool for planning and working with projects, which is used by Uber, Airbnb, and Pinterest. Here, you can communicate with a remote team member, post-project tasks, and monitor employee productivity.
● YouGile is another easy and convenient project management and team communication system. You can subscribe to any task, discuss it, and receive notifications.
● Microsoft Teams is a corporate workspace platform. It has all the necessary tools for teamwork (chat, file exchange, video, and audio communication, notes).
● Jira is a powerful CRM system, which is equipped with a variety of necessary tools for business and integrates with many cloud applications.
● ClicData is a new dark horse in the cloud-based data analytics tools industry. Its platform proposes more than 200 connectors so you can easily import your data and create reports with centralized statistics. Since it is 100% online, your reports can be worked on and shared within your team effortlessly.

Try several platforms and choose the one you like best for the interface and features your team needs.

2. Select additional tools for employee interaction

It is important to find convenient programs for working remotely with projects and for communicating with each team member. We have selected the most popular and convenient tools that can be useful for you.

● Slack is a handy corporate messenger for communicating and transferring files. It easily integrates with Trello and many other applications.
● Zoom is a platform for video conferencing, which can involve several hundred people. It integrates with Dropbox and Microsoft Outlook.
● Google Docs is a resource for working with documents, which allows participants to simultaneously make edits, leave comments, and communicate.
● Zapier is a program to help sort out routine tasks. It can be integrated with Gmail and Trello so that emails automatically become new tasks.
● Miro is an interactive whiteboard for ideas and thinking. You can draw, write, glue stickers, etc.
● Creately is a platform for brainstorming and planning for remote teams.

3. Take care of corporate security

Employees store business information on laptops and smartphones, so it is important to protect that data. Use special programs for information security.

● Norton 360 is a multifunctional program that not only protects against viruses but also makes backup files in the cloud for PC, monitors connections between the protected device and other computers, and blocks unauthorized traffic.
● 1Password is a program for storing passwords.

4. Protect your employees from information overload

It is also useful to reduce all chats, emails, and conference calls to 1 or 2 programs, as it is extremely difficult to work with multiple tools, switching from one messenger to another, and so on. It takes so much time and effort.

Choose one CRM system, one messenger, one video-call program for your team, and that will be enough for a small business.

5. Invest in the right equipment and software for convenient work

We recommend providing employees with a headset (headphones + microphone) for good communication. Think about what tools and accessories your remote team might need.

For example, Automattic, the creator of WordPress, not only provides its employees with the equipment they need but also gives $2,000 to set up a home office.

Listen to employees’ suggestions about the need for any software to work with. For example, SEO professionals may need Key Collector software, so buy a license just for specific employees.

The First Steps in Managing a Remote Team

The “virtual office” is ready, now we need to deal with the training of employees. Remotely explaining to a person what is required of him is not easy. The manager needs to set up the business processes correctly.

6. Formulate ground rules for the remote team

First, write out how you see your remote team’s workday and create a manual for the work.

Prepare online training documents for remote interaction. Then distribute them for the team members so that they understand what programs and platforms they will have to work in with the rest of the team.

7. Assign a mentor to a new employee

A supervisor will help understand the work process, answer the newcomer’s questions, and support him in a friendly way. Skyeng, where 90% of employees work remotely, recommends scheduling daily meetings in the first week. Discuss with the new employee what they did well, what challenges they had, and why.

8. Make the schedule flexible

Some employees are productive at 7 a.m.; others are more comfortable starting at noon. GitHub, the largest web service for hosting IT projects, advises allowing employees to manage their own time.

If members of a distributed team live in different time zones, agree on a convenient time slot for everyone to be in touch. Don’t forget about the national holidays! Therefore, you can keep a shared calendar, where it will be clear what days which employee has a holiday. You can use Calendly software to do this.

Work Process and Motivation of Distributed Team Members

A good manager should be an example to the entire team. Show your employees how to set goals, fulfill tasks, maintain discipline, and be independent in their work.

9. For remote work, choose those employees who can work in this mode

First of all, assemble a team of specialists who know and like to work remotely. Not everyone is ready for this. Someone is constantly distracted by household chores, can’t sit still, is often absent from his or her workplace, and is difficult to contact by video link.

Therefore, we recommend testing the candidates on the ability to work remotely for 2-3 days. If the person is not quite suitable for such work, it is better to offer him a vacancy in the office.

10. Establish a trusting relationship with your team

Start with yourself! The manager’s openness will make the other team members feel relaxed. Share pictures of your home office, family, pet, establish a buddy relationship with employees.

11. Motivate employees to achieve their goals

Many employees care not only about financial motivation, but also the possibility of career growth, extra days off, a comfortable workplace, bonuses, training courses. So be sure to introduce an internal system of rewards and motivation for your distributed team.

For example, you can make a bonus system. For their help in solving tasks, each employee will have the opportunity to give bonuses to his colleagues. At the end of the month, the accumulated bonuses can be spent on extra time off or corporate gifts.

12. Focus on the result, not the activity

Many managers make the big mistake of managing a remote team by starting to track every step of the employees. This leads to an unwillingness to work effectively and damaged team relationships.

Forbes recommends that managers focus on results instead of monitoring every hour employees work. Give up micromanagement!

Allow the employee to allocate their own time and prioritize tasks. After all, you’ve assembled a team of experts, not interns. You can monitor the work of your employees without excessive control through the CRM system or weekly reports.

13. Try the 360° method for evaluating work

The 360° method involves evaluating an employee “from all sides,” i.e. not only the manager, but also colleagues, subordinates, and the employee himself. This is a great way to identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees and to outline a way to improve their performance.

Communication in a Remote Team: 7 Effective Tips

The main problem with remote work is the communication and distance barriers that prevent project participants from feeling like a team. Employees feel like strangers who cannot meet in person, chat in the office, have coffee together at lunch, or participate in a “live” discussion of project tasks.

The manager should help their team get rid of barriers and create a friendly environment for working together and interacting creatively. Here are a few tips that have helped many companies bridge the virtual divide between employees.

14. Don’t limit communication to text chat, communicate via video

During communication, people use about 10,000 nonverbal signals per minute. Therefore, face-to-face contact is necessary to better understand each other. Contact your employees by a video call from time to time or hold a mini-conference.

15. Separate chat, video, and email

All of these tools are necessary for communication, but you need to agree with your team when and how to contact each other. There is no need to make a video call for any reason, just a chat.

But if you want to discuss some task, it is better to talk via video call so that you can see the true intentions and emotions of the employee. This is necessary to avoid misunderstandings.

Email communication is better left for business communication with clients because this tool is not suitable for quick communication.

16. Do not forget about the corporate culture of communication

The manager’s task is to create a comfortable virtual office life for each employee. To do this, all members of the team should follow a few rules of online communication.

17. Use emojis when communicating with colleagues

Some companies think emojis are beyond corporate etiquette, but they’re not. Sara Rosso, director of marketing at Automattic, says she uses emoticons with her colleagues all the time. It is necessary to understand each other’s emotions.

Video communication is good, but not everyone is ready for this way of interaction every day, so use emojis to convey your mood.

18. Make gifs or stickers of your company

An assignment for graphic designers is to make cool stickers for your remote team. For a lunch break, you can make a sticker with an employee who eats whenever you text him or her. For acknowledgment of receiving a new task, make a funny “accepted” gif for the person who says that most often. Stickers and gifs will lift your spirits and brighten your workday.

19. Chat for non-work communication of employees

In a regular office, employees can chat in the hallway or in the kitchen. In a virtual space, there is no such opportunity. So make an informal chat group. There, you can talk about everything: the graduation of the son, the wife’s birthday, trips out of town, etc. Let this chat open all the time in the background, it creates that feeling of presence.

20. Encourage employees to turn off chats and not check email after hours

Many employees answer work emails even in the middle of the night, this shouldn’t be the case. A person should rest and clearly distinguish between working and non-working hours. Otherwise, such an employee is prone to rapid burnout, and eventually, he will stop coping with his work duties because of chronic fatigue. Advise your team not to forget the principle of 8-8-8 (8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of rest).

Fun Activities for the Team

The secret to the success of a remote team is a friendly atmosphere, fun communication, and trust. Friendly relationships can be maintained at a distance, even if you have never met in person. The manager’s job is to rally the team and set a positive mood.

21. Have a fun get-together once or twice a week

Get together in video chats as often as possible to get to know each other better. Talk about the weather, hobbies, share skills, suggest movies, discuss computer games, have “remote” lunches. All of this is necessary to avoid feeling lonely. Create a remote office that is fun and comfortable for everyone involved.

22. Hold field trips

It is important for the team members to have the opportunity to meet in person, socialize, and have a great time at least once a year. Large companies arrange employee meetings in Thailand, France, or Montenegro, choosing locations depending on the preferences of the remote team. Such meetings are an opportunity not only to relax but also to bond.

For example, Automattic organizes a 7-day Grand Meetup trip for its employees from all over the world every year. Colleagues get to know each other, discuss projects, share experiences, and just have fun at the parties. Make it a practice in your company, too!

The first month of managing a remote team can seem like a challenge until you set up distance business processes. As soon as there is communication between everyone involved in the project, and there is team spirit, your company’s business will take off!

Allow employees to be more independent, encourage them, motivate them to work for results, enjoy on-site meetings, all this will make your team members friends who trust and help each other go to success.

10 Steps to Take If You Feel Stagnant in Your Career

If you’ve done the same thing every day for 10 years, it’s only natural that you would feel as if your momentum may have come to a screeching halt. Most of us like the idea of continuously advancing in our career, making more money, earning better and more important titles, and thereby feeling like we’re growing as individuals.

But sooner or later, we may hit a rut, and feel stagnating in our current role. Could this be a plateau where you’ll stay for the rest of your working life?

It doesn’t have to be. If you’re feeling stationary in your current position, you can take several steps to reinvigorate yourself and create new momentum.

Steps to Take to Achieve Forward Motion

Try some or all of these ten steps to breathe new life into your career:

1. Get a new certification

First, think about seeking a new certification. For example, if you work in accounting, you could pass the CPA exam to become a CPA. Depending on your current role and your certification, this might enable you to earn more money, have a shot at a substantial promotion, and even open a door to entrepreneurial opportunities. No matter what, you’ll get the chance to learn new skills and engage in activities that enable you to break from the norm.

2. Learn a new skill

You could also make the effort to learn a new skill, even if it diverges from your current areas of expertise. For example, you could take up computer programming or learn how to work with a new piece of software. This will keep you engaged, make you a more well-rounded professional, and could open the door to some interesting opportunities down the road.

3. Branch out to other departments

How often do you talk to people from other departments in your organization? If your firm suffers from a persistent silo mentality, you may rarely, if ever, reach outside your own circle. Getting acquainted with colleagues in other departments can help you understand better how your organization works, and give you an opportunity to network and learn new things – all of which can be good for your career.

4. Take on a new responsibility

Don’t request a new responsibility; take one on. Step in to address something that no one else wants to touch, or expand some area of the business. It can keep you challenged and interested in your work – and looks impressive when it comes time for supervisors to evaluate you for a promotion or raise.

5. Talk to your bosses

Are you feeling trapped or bored? Consider talking to your bosses about your status. They may have ideas or new directives that will help you to feel more challenged, or shift you to a new position entirely.

6. Start a side hustle

If you’re not getting what you want or need from your main career, why not attempt a side hustle? Pick up a hobby and turn it into a business, or dabble in a new industry you’ve always wanted to investigate. It could turn into a full-time gig later, if you choose.

7. Look for a transfer opportunity

If you like this company and you’re just tired of the same environment, look into the potential for a transfer. Moving to a new department or a different location could be the fresh breath of air you need to feel good about your career again.

8. Work for a promotion

You may already be doing this, but consider aiming for a specific promotion. Depending on your industry and the nature of the business, this could be a new role that’s several years off, but if you start laboring toward it now, you may feel a surge of inspiration and motivation that will carry you to your end goal.

9. Apply to jobs with other businesses (or start your own)

If opportunities are rare at your current place of employment, think about applying for jobs with other businesses. You could even start a company of your own in your industry.

10. Change careers entirely

Of course, if nothing else is working, or you’re just finished with the industry you’ve been in, you might plan a complete career change. It’s never too late to jump into a totally different line of work.

Embrace Change

No matter what you do, if you want to break free of your feelings of stagnation, it’s important to embrace change. Thanks to status quo bias (and a bit of laziness), most of us prefer to keep things the same for as long as possible.

But if you allow yourself to remain complacent and simply accept the patterns you’ve fallen into over many years, you’ll never make any progress. You have to change something if you want different results; there’s no other way forward.

Looking for an IT Services Provider? Here Are Some Tips

No matter what industry you work in today, technology is wiggling its way into your daily tasks. As technology permeates everything we do, many companies and business owners are considering turning to IT services providers to help bridge the gap. Computer systems, digital storage, data security, cloud software, project management software, and post-pandemic digital alternatives to in-person and in-store methods are just a few of the things that IT service providers can help you with. The following will point out some of the things you want to keep in mind to help you choose the right IT services provider for you and your business.

Understand What You Need

Every business is different, and so it follows that every business’s IT needs are going to be different too. Before you begin filtering through IT service provider options, get straight what you’re hoping a team can help you with. Having a list of your needs when calling or emailing providers can help you narrow down your choices quickly, as not all providers offer the same services. Take the time to speak to other members of your business as well to be sure that you understand everyone’s needs.

Don’t Assume Your Needs Won’t Change

While it’s fantastic to start with the above list of needs, you need to be aware that what you require from your IT services provider will change in the future. EIRE Systems managed IT support points out that things might need to scale and adapt to new technologies as the year progresses. Keep in mind how your future needs might change when agreeing to terms and strategies, and be open to discussing potential IT infrastructure options that will meet both your current and future needs.

Security Is A Priority

Even if you don’t think security is an issue in your industry or business, it is. Cybersecurity is a massive issue right now, and it’s looking like it’s only going to grow. Speak to any potential IT service providers about what security measures they are taking and what they recommend given your current situation and the type of information you collect and harbor.

Understand The Support Service You’ll Be Entitled To

Does the provider you’re speaking to allow you 24-hour access to support lines? Can you call at any time and reach an expert on the other end of the line who can walk you through whatever technical difficulties you’re having? Be sure that you understand what the IT provider’s resources are when it comes to troubleshooting and dealing with the inevitable hiccups that come along with incorporating new technologies into the workforce.

The above tips should help you have open and useful conversations with potential IT services providers. Once you’ve discussed the above information with a provider, you should have a good idea of whether or not the provider is right for you. Keep asking the above questions until you find someone that is a great match for you and your company. It’s alright if it takes a moment to find a good fit. It’s important to think about your IT services provider as carefully as you think about hiring a new employee—this is someone or a team of someones who will be working alongside you, perhaps for many years to come.

5 Signs your Employees need Computer Upgrades

The type of computers your company uses can make or break your business. Good, up-to-date computers are valuable assets to your business as they allow your employees to do work smoothly and complete tasks on time.

On the flip side, outdated computers can wreak havoc on their efficiency, work quality, and productivity. So, for your employees to keep up with customer expectations, increasing work volumes, and other changing aspects of your business, you need to consistently upgrade your computers. But how do you know that it is time to have a computer upgrade? Well, here are top 5 signs to look out for:

1. Your computers are slow

There is nothing more frustrating to employees than staring at spinning wheels on their computer screens.  Slow computer systems are more than a nuisance—it is a drag to an entire organization. Even worse, it wreaks havoc on your employees’ efficiency and productivity.

Slow computers may be a symptom of outdated applications, inadequate storage, limited bandwidth, and lack of processing power among other issues. A computer upgrade will address all these issues and help you deliver fast systems. Fast computer systems translate to more efficient business.

2. Your IT costs are swelling

The older the computers, the more they cost to repair and maintain. Over the years, your IT costs start to add up and before you know it, you find yourself spending more money to keep your systems up and running. A computer upgrade will address underlying issues. It allows you to assemble a cohesive system that works, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

3. Your computers cannot perform certain tasks effectively

The success of a business depends on being ahead of your competition. But if your competitors have some of the latest hardware in the industry, clients are going to find them easier to work with.

Your old computers may cope fine with certain offline operations but fall short when your employees try to exchange data with clients. If your employees are finding it easier to use their phones or PCs when downloading or sharing files, it is time you upgraded your computer systems.

4. Employees are not happy with your current computers and offer alternatives

Employees complaining or reporting a host of problems with their current computers is a clear sign that an upgrade is overdue. Employees do appreciate and tend to be incentivized by efficient computing systems.

Conversely, they tend to lose motivation when the computers or technology they are required to use is becoming less efficient. It is even worse if they know that better alternatives exist. A computer upgrade will not only boost your employees’ satisfaction but also improve productivity and collaboration.

5. Your Business is growing fast

If your business is growing at a faster rate than the IT infrastructure that you’ve put in place, your progress will be slowed and even come to a halt. A computer upgrade can go a long way in keeping your business running smoothly, support your business growth, and provide your employees with the resources they need to perform at their best.

Final thoughts

If any of the above-mentioned signs sound familiar and your employees are complaining about system breakups, slow computers, and inability to complete certain tasks using the company’s computers, it is time to consider an upgrade.

Don’t worry about having to pay a huge one-off fee; you can always upgrade your hardware in stages and improve the most in-need systems first. Boosthardware can help you conduct a full computer upgrade or advice you on the most urgent upgrades that you need to improve the efficiency and productivity of your business. 

Employee Monitoring – Top Rated Monitoring Software for Small Businesses

Employee monitoring software is an important tool for small businesses to monitor how employees spend their time each day. The best employee monitoring software lets you improve employee productivity, says Max, who provides excel homework help services.

Due to the pandemic, this new culture of working from home has started. These computer activity tracking tools will help you check the ones who accomplish their task assigned and the ones who spend their hours watching YouTube videos, scrolling through social apps, or worse.

Managing productivity is difficult during a pandemic. Employee monitoring tool has become essential for small businesses due to COVID-19. Look for software that is easy to use, reasonable, and had extensive features for tracking employee performance. Let us find the best Employee Monitoring Software for your business. You can compare product prices and features to decide the one that suits your business.

1. Teramind

Teramind software is one of the most comprehensive tracking systems. You can monitor user behaviour from zoon sessions, screen recording of employee’s PCs, email tracking, web pages, applications, social media, and searches. It offers security features such as a data loss prevention package to secure your company’s network and data, audits and forensics, and user behavior analytics. Teramind can also track employee attendance and improve employee productivity. Teramind offers three cloud plans.

  • Teramind Starter: The cloud version costs $10 per user per month.
  • Teramind UAM: For the cloud version, the cost is $20.83 per user per month.
  • Teramind DLP: The cloud version of DLP costs $12.50 per user per month.

2. InterGuard

InterGuard is a complete employee monitoring solution that is used as a cloud-based or on-premises solution, says Ginny, who provides do my book report services. InterGuard monitors email tracking, applications, online searches, social platforms, browser history, chats, and printing behaviour. It keeps the company’s network secure by restricting employees from sending or receiving unsafe files or visiting insecure websites or apps. With the help of keystroke logging, a company can set alerts for specific or suspicious keywords. InterGuard pricing as mentioned on their website is $9.99 per user/month or less when paid annually on orders between 11to 25 users.

3. Time Doctor

Time Doctor provides detailed analytics by covering several features such as time tracking, project management, and employee monitoring. It not only tracks employee’s attendance and total time an employee worked, says Mathews, who provides do my math homework services. But, it also provides a breakdown of time spent on each project or task. It increases your employee’s productivity and lessens the amount of time they waste during work hours. Time Doctor Plan is simple: $9.99 per user per month. No other plans or tiers.

4. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is among the top-picked employee monitoring software. With Hubstaff, your employees will focus on important tasks without getting distracted. The software is capable of monitoring employees working inside or outside your office. For example, you can track freelancers, field, or remote workers. It is available for every operating system such as Mac, Chromebook extension, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Hubstaff offers affordable plans. If you only have one user, you can sign up for their free plan. For owners who need a solution to monitor two or more users can choose from three paid plans. 

  • The Basic plan is $7 per user per month
  • The Premium plan is $10 per user per month
  • The Enterprise plan is $20 per user per month.

Hubstaff also has a 60-days money-back guarantee.

5. ActivTrak

ActivTrak is a cloud-based employee monitoring tool. It allows owners to track employee productivity, efficiency, mouse movements and keyboard activity (not keystroke logging), workload, website, and application usage. It provides comprehensive workforce analytics and detailed reporting of your employees. You can set up notifications and real-time reports to stay informed on employee behaviour. ActivTrak is easy to use and provides a free demo to users. It has 24/7 support, video tutorials, and webcasts. This plan comes with a 14-day free trial and costs $15 per user per month, billed annually.

6. Controlio

Controlio, by EfficientLab, is a real-time employee monitoring software. It is the best monitoring software for video recording. It provides owners the easiest way to track employee behavior with screen snapshots and live screen recording. You can follow your employee’s website visits, the apps they are using, and what projects they are working on currently. The tracker captures random screenshots to get full transparency, optimize time, and boost productivity. You can create an account on the device you want to monitor by downloading and installing the software. It is a secure platform that provides two-factor authentication. Controlio’s employee monitoring solution is well-priced and scalable. It costs $7.99 per user per month or $79.90 per user per year. You can try out the product with a 14-day free trial (for up to three users).

7. SentryPC

SentryPC is budget-friendly software for small businesses on a budget. It tracks login and logout activities, downloads, chats, websites visited, and games played. The owner can select the working hours of the employee and monitor their activity for each day or week. The employee monitoring plans are as follows.

  • Basic plan: It costs $59.95 per year for one user. Each additional user costs $19.95.
  • Business 50 plan: For businesses with up to 50 users, it costs $995 per PC per year. Each additional user costs $19.90.
  • Business 100: It costs $1,595 per year for up to 100 users. Each additional user costs $15.95.
  • Business 250: This plan costs $2,995 per year for up to 250 PCs. Each additional user costs $11.98.
  • Business 500: This plan costs $3,995 per year for up to 500 users. Each additional user costs $7.99.

Easily Translate Anything on Your PC With These Handy Tips

The internet is a wonderful thing. It can open doors for you or take you halfway across the world.  It can teach you almost everything you want to know about anything. and help you communicate with people through a screen as you would in person. The only problem, apart from connection issues or technical difficulties, is language barriers. Luckily, to translate an article or message, you don’t have to go to a licensed translator anymore. 

There are many quick and easy ways to translate everything you need, right from your PC. You can choose from websites to browser add-ons, to programs. You can choose to pay or can even translate for free! It’s all about knowing what works best for you. If you want to get some translating done, or you want to amp up your software game, here are some tips and tricks on how to translate more efficiently.

Old Reliable: Google Translate

It’s difficult to think of translating anything today without Google translate. When it comes to accessible and fast translation options, Google translate has gained a reputation for being one of the best. Especially when combined with additional helpful software, it is easy to use and is perfect for the average person looking to check up a word, website, or text. When it comes to words, Google translate acts as your own personal dictionary.  It gives you the most used translations of the word. 

With texts, it can translate and piece together the meaning of sentences and phrases with ease. The only downside is, you have a limit of 5000 words when you use the website and longer translations can get a little clunky. But other than that, it’s a perfectly serviceable and efficient way to get your message across or to understand a foreign language.

Using Software to Speed up the Process

Google translate is great, but if you need to translate large texts for work, for example, you’ll need something a bit stronger. Translating is one thing, but if you want to speed up the process, you might want to consider adding CAT tools to your arsenal. Buying or downloading a translation-aiding program can make the entire translation process simpler. 

CAT tools (or computer-aided translation) sound like they do manual translation, but they do something even better. CAT tools are programs designed to streamline translating. They form databases and provide easy access to previous translations. You can think of these tools as having all your dictionaries, documents, and notes all conveniently located digitally within your translations. The downsides would be taking up space on your device and losing all your data unless you backup.

Using Cloud-based Translating Software

If you don’t have the necessary space on your computer, or your hardware is not up for the task, you might want to consider using cloud-based software. With cloud-based programs, you don’t have to worry about freeing up space to accommodate bulky programs or your saved work. You can save your work in real-time, much like on Google Docs, and translate as you go along. 

You can choose from free or paid programs, depending on what kind of translating you need to do. The downsides to using cloud-translation services, as with most cloud-based programs are the possible security issues. Your work can be subject to hackers, who have a knack for breaking into cloud data. With cloud services, you also become reliant on the internet for your translating, which can prove to be a problem in some cases.

Using Offline Desktop Translation Tools

Whether you’re translating for work or pleasure, translation that requires you to use the internet at all times can become impractical. Offline desktop translation tools are the new dictionaries of the 21st century. The obvious bonus of offline desktop tools is that you can use them when you’re offline. You can continue to translate when the internet connection is bad, your data runs out, or you’re on holiday with no signal. 

You also don’t have to worry about servers crashing or your data being lost. The few downsides are that you do have to free up some space on your PC. Most (although not all) work only on desktop devices so your PC needs to be able to take the heat. Also, with programs that you have to install, you risk losing all your work if something happens to your PC.

As with many things, translating has become much easier with the advancement of modern technology. Today, you can translate almost anything you want, you only need to determine how you want to do it. Whether for work or fun, translating has never been easier and more compatible. Whether desktop programs, cloud-services the choice is yours. You get to decide what is the most important aspect for you when it comes to translating. 

What Generation Z knows and why it’s worth hiring students

On the threshold of summer, the question of student employment becomes even more urgent for many employers. On the one hand, an HR manager faces a young and ambitious candidate with excellent prospects, but on the other hand – an inexperienced specialist with unfinished studies and an uncertain professional future.  

Students in the Office: Pros and Cons

Work for students without experience is the best way to get the first professional skills and the opportunity not to depend on parents financially.

Companies, for their part, are wary of hiring newcomers without experience, belonging to Generation Z, because they understand the complexity of adaptation, the need for training, and the possible risks in the matter of a responsible approach to work. This is not the only disadvantage of hiring students:

  • For some students, the study is a priority, and they spend most of their time on it;
  • they cannot be sent on long business trips;
  • The work schedule should be adjusted individually to the person.

Despite these disadvantages, working with students has its pros. If you don’t want to take on a student for a full-time role, you could opt for hiring a freelance student to take your project to the next level, with the possibility of having them join the team full-time in the future.

Reasons Why It Is Worth Providing Work for Students in Their Field of Study:

  • Members of Generation Z are not guided by experience. Experienced employees are always preferred by the employer, but they have a certain professional background: habits and rules, personal requirements for building processes, and working conditions.
  • From a student, you can make an ideal employee, who will penetrate your corporate culture and follow the policy of the company.
  • The student is a generator and a source of new ideas. Z-students who are constantly developing: attending events, watching webinars, and taking training give out more promising thoughts and ideas.
  • There is no need to maintain a Work-Life Balance. Only a small percentage of students start a family while studying, so they are more involved and focused on professional growth. The only they have is study but many of them use write my essay services to save the time for work.
  • Financial benefits for the company. In most cases, a student’s salary = half of a professional’s salary. This can significantly save on salary costs.
  • Productivity and performance. Generation Z, unlike their more experienced colleagues, seeks not only to learn new things but also to apply their knowledge. They are more receptive to IT technologies and master the field faster. Usually, students of technical universities come to work in IT companies even before they graduate, because they show excellent results and have a high level of intelligence.
  • Self-management. Generation Z employees have lower expectations than their colleagues. They are more willing to take on different tasks and are flexible and engaged.
  • Students enliven the workspace and inspire experienced colleagues to work. Having a young and proactive person on the team has a positive impact on the work environment. Students bring new ideas to the workplace, so they inspire themselves and inspire others to be productive.
  • Rapid Adaptation. Z-students learn and adapt quickly in a new environment, and they also show more enthusiasm than experienced colleagues.

Learn Why Every Company Needs IT Support

Many small businesses will start out with a small IT sector which usually consists of a few people who have some experience in solving IT problems and fixing bugs. While this may be alright in the very early stages of your company, you can soon find out why this isn’t sustainable in the long run. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why every company needs IT support.

To solve complex problems

Finding solutions to any number of problems can prove to be quite difficult to ascertain without expert assistance from those who are professionals in their field no matter the size of your company’s information system. Just how valuable IT support is can be manifested in their ability to find the cause of the problem almost in an instant, and allocate the measures to respond to it. What’s useful is that they go beyond the surface symptoms to identify solutions, as well as to evaluate and incorporate measures to ensure you that these problems never show up again. Another great aspect is that they have a lot of experience and it takes them a few seconds to identify the problem and solve it efficiently. This timelessness and efficiency of how IT support addresses the issues that prevent downtime also translates to saving you from losing great amounts of money during unforeseen downtime. 

Better security

No matter what kind of company you own, your data is of utmost importance. This is why it’s crucial to support your company data with very reliable backup systems. In addition to this, you should also have a more than decent cybersecurity expert on your hands. This is exactly what good IT support can provide you with, should you decide to outsource the IT management and tasks. With their assistance, you will be guaranteed the confidentiality of your customers, employees, as well as company data. Furthermore, your business will be effectively safeguarded against cyber attacks. If any data should still get lost for any reason, IT support should be able to retrieve it without much difficulty. IT support not only guarantees the safety of your business and the confidentiality of your workers and customers, but it also helps maintain the technological integrity of your business above all because who will want to do business with you if you’re not reliable.

Improved efficiency

No matter what kind of business you own, and it doesn’t either matter how big it is, the chances are you are probably always thinking about how you can improve its efficiency throughout the whole company. One of the most determining factors of your company’s efficiency is the technology it uses, and the expertise of the personnel behind it. As Houston’s best IT management service suggests that IT support can ensure that the usual efficiency that comes from using technology is maximized, which ultimately decreases your company’s efficiency due to bugs and consistent issues. Furthermore, IT support can offer you wish IT services specially designed to best suit your business, some of which you probably don’t know you need. With a dedicated support team, you can skip the problem-solving part and focus on reaching the company’s targets and on identifying areas for growing more quickly, which is ultimately the end goal of all businesses.

Great customer service

Last but not least, another great advantage of having IT support expertise at your service is that they will be present 24/7. Yes, we mean all the time. There is no real reason why you should spend some of your working hours dealing with software management, unexpected downtime, as well as security patches. On top of that, who has time to maintain hardware and software or train personnel to do it when you can simply hire the professionals for it. They will better understand how to use your IT resources. Moreover, statistics show that over two-thirds of companies use and outside IT support. Even the companies with an IT department found the additional knowledge quite resourcefully, efficient, and it will pave the way to great customer service. If you have constant IT support, your customers will always be welcome to ask questions about your business and make complaints that can be met head-on, thus proving you appreciate their input since you are so fast to respond and during any time of day (or night).

From increased efficiency to better security, IT support can offer a wide array of IT services and can solve complex problems that you would otherwise have problems solving. It can also improve your customer service, and will ultimately give you more time to grow and brand your business.