Meetings Are Making Your People Less Productive

Are you one of the many businesses that still offers your people the flexibility of remote or hybrid working?

If so, you’re probably relying on video meetings a lot more than you usually would. And that makes sense, because it feels like the easiest way to get people together at the same time.

But meetings can be a real drag for everyone at some stage. Whether you’re dealing with introverted employees who are hesitant to speak up, scheduling conflicts that make it tough to get everyone in the same virtual room, or colleagues who try to take all the credit for your brilliant ideas (the worst!), meetings can actually slow down your productivity.

So what are some simple solutions to help?

For projects that have a visual element, digital whiteboards are your new best friend. These handy tools allow for collaboration wherever, whenever, and replicate the feeling of being in an actual conference room. Plus, they don’t put anyone on the spot, so introverted employees can contribute without feeling self-conscious.

And for projects that don’t require visuals? Maybe collaborative docs could be a good alternative for you. These documents are easily shared and distributed, making it easy for team members to work together in real-time or asynchronously.

Let your team know that they don’t need to respond immediately to every notification or email. And if you really want to free up some time for deep-focus work, consider implementing a “no meetings” policy like Shopify has done.

This empowers your team to work when they’re most effective, regardless of their time zone.

When it comes to productivity, transparency is key! So have you considered prioritizing public channels over direct messages? It can be a game-changer for your team as it helps everyone understand how different individuals and teams work, and increases workers’ faith in their managers.

In fact, research shows that employees who trust their leadership are 50% more engaged at work! And when it comes to clarifying priorities, the responsibility falls on leadership. Make sure you’re coaching your direct reports and giving regular feedback. Consider consolidating work in one platform to make things simpler.

By choosing the right tools and minimizing time spent in meetings, you can increase your productivity and get more done in less time. So why wait? If we can help you get started, get in touch.

Are Two Monitors Really More Productive Than One?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

When you see those people with two monitors, you may assume they do some specialized work that requires all that screen space or they just really like technology.

But having the additional display real estate that a second screen provides can benefit anyone, even if you’re doing accounting or document work all day.

According to a study by software developer Mavenlink, 73% of surveyed businesses say they spend over an hour per day on average just switching between different apps.

Jon Peddie Research looked at the benefit of using two screens over several years. It found that, overall, employees in all types of jobs can improve productivity by an average of 42%. The company’s namesake put it simply by saying, “The more you can see, the more you can do.”

So, what are the advantages of adding a second screen? [Read more…]

Benefits Of Transforming Into A Paper-free Office

Going paperless at your office by digitalizing your documentation is a huge step.

Although it’s not easy for many businesses to transfer the entirety of their paperwork electronically, you can start small and shift slowly. It involves numerous benefits, such as lower costs and higher efficiency after digitalization.

In a competitive market, cutting down on expenses and enhancing productivity is an arduous task. You can accomplish these tasks easily by going paperless.

The availability of advanced technological tools is making it easy to move your documentation online. If you are still confused about going paperless at your office, consider these benefits.

Better organization
Tracking and maintaining papers manually is a time-consuming task. Your employees may find it intimidating to handle all clutter and mess when it comes to documents. This becomes even tougher when you are running a large-scale operation. Paper documents increase the risk of huge errors and blunders.

Going paperless will streamline your management and organizing tasks so your employees can channel concentration towards high-priority tasks. This avoids tedious paper hunts. You will face a lower chance of human errors and mistakes by introducing coherence and proficiency in the workplace.

Transfer information easily
Numerous available tools enable you to generate digital invoices and quotations. Hence, your employees can instantly share relevant details without incurring printing and postage expenses.

Marketing and accounting teams can communicate information in realtime and make adjustments according to their clients’ needs. Employees can easily search through old documents with a few clicks. They can arrange documents by date, clients, serial number, and nature of documents.

Enhance security
Even though cyber-attacks are frequent, digital documents have become more secure. Electronic records are easier to render through encryption.

You can control access to specific documents and manage security levels. Printed documents require a lot of space, and controlling access is not possible. Documents are also prone to fire and water damage. You can double up digital efforts with backups and cybersecurity.

Lower costs
When you transform documents digitally, you improve the process’s efficiency and lower expenses.

Digital transformation offers you to store a large volume of paperwork, saving a lot of storage space. Moreover, digitalization will reduce the cost of ink, printers, paper, employee time, and space to store the documents.

The most important benefit of going digital with your paperwork is that you save employee time. They can perform additional tasks instead of storing, managing, and searching for documents.

Should You Monitor Your Remote Workers?

At the end of last year, Microsoft announced it would be adding increased employee surveillance to Microsoft Edge.

The changes mean admins can access compliance monitoring through the browser, such as seeing which files have been printed or copied to USB devices.

Machine learning is being used to increase this visibility of what’s happening to sensitive files. But how will this impact employees? Will they feel that their privacy is being invaded? Will it cause trust issues? And do you think this is an appropriate level of monitoring when people have proved that remote work can be just as productive – if not more – than working from the office?

Our advice would be not to buy into this increased employee surveillance, unless you want to damage the delicate trust you’ve no doubt worked hard to build with your team.

There are other, more open ways to help your people get their work done. For example, there are plenty of tools that help limit distractions like notifications or temporarily block apps and websites to allow better focus. Your employees can choose to activate these to aid their productivity when they need a boost.

You’ll find some within your Microsoft 365 subscription – that means more tools at no extra cost.

If you want some suggestions personalized to your business, give us a call.

How To Hire Top Talent With Advanced Tools

Setting up the best recruitment tool can solve numerous business related problems. A major problem that almost every business encounters is hiring a qualified candidate.

According to a survey, 87% of HR professionals reported that they could not fill positions with eligible and qualified candidates.

Apart from that, many companies find it difficult to reach qualified candidates, provide a remarkable candidate experience, and maintain diversification in the workspace.

You can solve these problems and numerous others by incorporating a top recruitment tool in your human resource department. Below, you will learn some benefits of using the tools for an effective hiring process.

Online recruitment tools increase recruiters’ productivity. By shifting to advanced technology, your team will learn new methods and factors to identify the best talent.

These tools are a huge help for them to reach new people through social media. Hiring the best candidate from a long list is an arduous task. However, you can automate your tasks using a recruitment tool, thereby saving precious time and effort.

While hunting down potential candidates, communication is really important. Using recruitment tools, you can maintain efficient and time-saving communication channels, effectively keeping applicants in the loop.

Recruiting tools you should use

The hiring process is no longer a manual task for most businesses. The reason top businesses are leading in this dense and competitive environment is that they focus more on hiring the right talent.

With manual hiring, the partiality in the process has a great impact on final decisions. Even if they try not to bring their emotions into the hiring process, they make mistakes.

Therefore, it is the right time to switch to advanced recruitment tools and enhance the skills of your human resource team. Here are some popular options among top businesses:

Recruitment chatbots

Going through an interview, candidates are more comfortable communicating with an AI tool than a team member. By knowing they must communicate with the chatbots, they will be confident inbeing transparent.

With recruitment chatbots, you can schedule interviews or take tests online. AI chatbots for recruitment not only help you make better decisions but provide an amazing experience to the candidate.

AI for screening

The screening process provides essential information about candidates and compares the top applications among all. Depending on the number of applications, this process is time-consuming.

Moreover, screening hundreds of profiles of applicants will be discouraging for your employees. While reviewing applications, they might overlook things due to pressure. However, you can automate your screening process through artificial intelligence recruiting tools.

These tools will shortlist eligible candidates, effectively reducing time and cost per hire.

Reducing bias software

Recruiting teams who use artificial intelligence to recognize talent can reduce the bias from screening, sourcing, and job descriptions. These AI-based tools will resolve the conscious and unconscious bias in the sourcing and screening process. These tools do not consider the candidates’ demographics such as age, gender, and race. Rather, they focus on hiring based on talent and skills. Reducing bias from the workplace will prevail in bringing diversity among the candidates.

Traditional techniques for recruiting talent include posting ads in newspapers, and placing boards. To speed up the hiring process and recruit the best talent, integrate advanced tools in your recruitment department to attract better quality candidates.

Three Ways To Evaluate Employee Performance

A performance management system enables you to evaluate your employees and helps you bring transparency to the process. These tools facilitate you with features for engagement and accountability of your employees across the company.

Factorial is a performance management tool that enables you to track the progress of each employee. This tool helps you customize the questionnaires and assign reviewers to easily manage and evaluate your teams.

With this tool, you can generate custom reports, create employees’ portals, add features in the individual portal and send a notification to the participants. You can access this software through a browser and your phone.

You can also use Factorial to integrate different add-ons and third-party plug-ins to streamline your workflow. You can unlock numerous connector tools with Factorial if you have an account on Zapier. The tools you can integrate include Google Calendar, Slack, Gmail, and Outlook.

Initially, they offer you a 14-day free trial that helps you assess the application. This management tool includes a few limitations that might slow you down a bit.

Trakstar is a highly customized tool to assess the performance of your employees. This tool includes comprehensive features and offers detailed analysis.

The interface of this platform is user-friendly and easy to understand. The developers designed this tool according to advanced social media websites so everyone can get the hang of it.

The top features that this software includes are 360-degree / multi-rater feedback, employee engagement surveys, and task management for thousands of employees.

It also facilitates you with setting SMART goals, customizes appraisal forms, and creates a flexible workflow according to the organization’s needs.

SAP is a popular and user-friendly tool that enables you to develop and retain employees, reduce attrition, optimize benefits, drive engagement, and increase the productivity of your employees.

This intelligent tool includes RPA or AI and robotic process automation capabilities. Furthermore, you can perform embedded analytics. SAP is an expert-recommended feature that offers flexibility to your employee management.

You can customize the SAP ERP based on your business infrastructure to perform wide-ranging tasks and activities. It offers you an SAP API business hub that includes digital content packages with sample applications and APIs.

This platform offers you a 30-day free trial period. After the trial period, they will charge you every month depending on the number of users.

How Tech Solves Managerial Problems In Small Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Before the digitalization of the business sector, it was impossible to comprehend how easily you can perform business tasks today.

Every business industry is drastically changing by integrating new and advanced tech tools. The way you communicate with clients and other employees is different from how it used to be. This is possible because we now have tools capable of solving our problems in a better way. Here are some ways in which technology is solving managerial problems in small businesses:

Resource Planning

Whether you are a small business or an enterprise, you will agree that managing your resources is a challenge. Especially when you are a start-up, you need to visualize your business process and create effective resource plans. Integrating an Enterprise Resource Planning tool into your business infrastructure is an efficient way to solve departmental problems including finance, sales, marketing, and accounting.

[Read more…]

Reduce Workplace Stress Using Technology

Many business owners focus on reducing work-related stress to keep their employees active and healthy. This way, they can focus more on their work instead of taking leave.

Your employees should feel motivated while they are in the workspace. This way, they can evaluate and organize their life in a better way to ensure optimal work and life balance.

Why Should You Reduce Stress?

You should reduce workspace stress for numerous reasons. To know the importance of reducing stress, you must understand how it affects your employees’ physical and mental health. Consequently, it will impact business activities, hindering any progress towards long-term goals.

Reduce Stress with Technology

The main reason for workspace stress is a lack of productivity and focus. However, you can utilize technology for good, thereby reducing stressful work routines. Numerous applications are available to help your employees focus and manage their routine. Here, we will discuss some of those tools:

Project Management

Managing projects without any tools is a hectic task. Planning, prioritizing, and tracking tasks will take up a lot of your time. However, you can rely on different tools to perform these activities.

Integrate those tools, so your employees don’t feel burdened. You can choose between popular tools such as Asana and Trello.

Time Management

When your employees are unable to focus and perform tasks due to stress, they can’t practice effective time management. Eventually, this will add to their stress and pressure.

Tools such as Pomodoro are an amazing option to manage time in your workplace. When your employees meet deadlines, they can focus on other tasks or relax.


Other time-consuming activities involve collaborating and communicating with colleagues. You can streamline internal communication by integrating tools such as Slack, Google Drive, and Basecamp.

These tools will not only help your employees communicate with each other, but they can also share and receive files and track their tasks. Furthermore, these tools will keep your tasks and conversations organized for future reference.

Stress Relief Apps

You can introduce various stress reducing applications among employees. For instance, applications that reduce anxiety will keep your employees calm and happy.

You can share these applications that make it mandatory to relax for five minutes after working for an hour. Applications such as Mindwell and The Breathing App are popular for reducing stress.

Increasing workload and giving your employees a tough time will have a negative effect on your business. With excessive stress, your tasks will become counterproductive, and employees will lose their focus. If you want to improve employees’ productivity, start by reducing workspace stress with some of the suggestions above.

How To Effectively Apply Technology In Your Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Technology can help your business to become significantly more efficient, engaging, and highly successful in your industry. Implementing the right technology can greatly help transform business infrastructure.

Here are nine of the most common and groundbreaking technologies that can help your company succeed today.

Use of mobile apps
You can improve your business’s overall reputation and seek higher brand recognition by introducing a mobile app with your business logo.

This keeps your products, services, and customer support at your client’s fingertips wherever they are. And depending on the complexity of your business, it can be surprisingly affordable. [Read more…]

Using Technology To Maximize Your Business’ Efficiency and Communication

In today’s world, we have so much technology that we barely know what half of it does, let alone how to use it. We tend to stick to what we know and forgo the rest. However, once you understand how you can optimize the relevant tech in your business, you can radically improve efficiency and communication.

One easy way to increase your business’ efficiency and keep everyone on the same page is by using a group-based calendar.

Staff can see what the plans are for the day, who’s going to be out of the office, schedule meetings and appointments, and more. Everyone can plan their day around each other’s availabilities and come in every day knowing what to expect.

Shared drives, either on a network or through a hosting service like OneDrive for Business, can also save time and increase work efficiency.

Shared folders and drives can be divided by department (like Marketing) or use (like Scanned Documents), ensuring files can be accessed instantly in their current version by all allowed parties. You can also filter out who has access to certain folders.

If it would be a right fit for your business, it might be worth looking into a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

A CRM system does what it sounds like: it tracks your relationships with your clients. It does much more than digitize your client files; these are a powerful tool that can do a lot of heavy lifting in organizing your business, managing your clients and workload, marketing, collaboration between employees, and client satisfaction.

There are many, many webpages written on the topic and many CRM options to choose from at all different price points, so some independent research will benefit you here.

We use a CRM program at Tech Experts to track all of our clients’ service tickets, manage invoicing, build marketing campaigns, monitor statistics, and more.

Back to the tech that’s easier to implement. If you use a fax line, you may be able to switch to an email-to-fax/fax-to-email service or an online fax service.

These solutions function just like a regular fax line (make sure the provider you’re considering is HIPAA compliant, if needed) and are often cheaper than a traditional fax machine when compared. These faxes can be sent from anywhere, to multiple parties at once, and save on paper and equipment costs.

Many companies, including ours, use an online library (also known as a knowledge base) to store employee training and reference materials.

This makes it easy for both new and established employees to check procedures without having to interrupt another employee; they simply log in and find the article they need to complete their task.

Additionally, if someone does need to ask for help, they can be directly linked to detailed processes, saving time for everybody involved.

These also allow you to control who has access to what spaces. Services like this are typically browser-based, but something similar could be set up on shared network drives as well.

With the amount of people that are currently working remotely or people who will be working remotely in the future, communication is key.

Not only can these help with communication inside of your business, but also assist in communication with your customers.