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…]

Is Unified Communications Right For Your Business?

Unified Communications (UC) is a ready-to-use system that allows for seamless communication in numerous ways such as phone, video, screen sharing, chat and file management.

The system operates as a cloud service, making it easily accessible to all team members with access to the Internet. But why should anyone consider switching to unified communications?

There are several reasons, but this is the most crucial: Business leaders who adopt UC would be able to impact their business every day and make it seamless for employees to interact with each other.

That said, we’ll list 5 of the key features of this concept to help you better understand how it can help you scale your business.


When connected to unified communications, all employees can stay connected at all times and from all locations. It doesn’t matter whether they’re working from home, vacationing on a remote island, or sitting in the office. They’ll still be able to chat, receive calls, and more.

Unified messaging

This allows employees to handle different message types using a single tool. They can easily switch communication modes, depending on their needs.


Whenever you need conferencing tools, you’ll have them in the palm of your hand.

You can allow a group of teammates or customers from outside your organization to connect and speak via video or audio from different locations.

Fax support

Faxes received through unified communications appear as email attachments. This way, users can also receive faxes on their desktops and smartphones.


This feature lets other users know each other’s status. That means you’ll be able to see when someone is online (Active), busy (Do Not Disturb), or away (Out of the Office).

What Are The Best Ways To Give An Older PC New Life?

Purchasing a new computer is a big investment. Many small businesses and home PC owners end up struggling with older systems because they want to get as many years out of them as possible.

Have you found yourself banging on your keyboard in frustration? Have you tried every tip and trick you found online, only to still struggle with a slow PC?

There are some promising upgrades you can do that will cost much less than the price of a new computer, while making your PC feel like new again. Here are some of the options you can try to improve the performance of an older computer.

Upgrade to a solid state hard drive (SSD)

Prices for solid-state drives have come down quite a bit in the past few years, making them an affordable upgrade that can breathe life back into an older PC that might be slowing down.

Unlike hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs do not have any moving parts and use a flash memory that allows for a quicker response time. You can improve your time to boot and your experience when searching files, opening applications, and other activities.

Some of the advantages of upgrading your computer’s hard drive to SSD include:

  • SSD read/write speeds up to 2500 MB/second compared to HDD at up to 200 MB/second
  • SSD access time of 0.1ms as compared to HDD at 5.5-8.0ms
  • SSDs use between 2-5 watts of energy compared to HDD at 6-15 watts

Increase the memory

One upgrade that is very low-cost and can mean a significant increase in performance is a memory upgrade. If your PC was one of the cheaper ones that only had 4GB of RAM when you bought it, you likely have trouble opening too many tabs in your browser or using any graphics-heavy program.

Upgrading your RAM, if your PC has available memory slots, to 8GB or 12GB can make it seem like you have an entirely new computer due to the big increase in speed.

Upgrade the graphics card

If you play computer games or work in any type of video, imaging, or 3D software, an outdated graphics card can ruin your experience.

Instead of replacing your entire computer, just upgrading the graphics card to a more robust model can improve your PC’s performance and give you several more useful years from it.

Replace your PCs cooling system

Heat is an enemy of your computer’s internal parts. If your cooling system is getting worn out and not working the way it should be, then excess heat can be building up inside your device.

When this happens things can get strange, with programs crashing or your system rebooting on its own.

If you suspect excess heat may be an issue, have your computer’s fan and cooling system checked out to see if it needs replacing.

Connect an external monitor to a laptop

If you’re working on a laptop and having a hard time multi-tasking due to limited screen real estate, consider getting an external monitor rather than replacing your entire PC.

Monitors are just a fraction of the cost of computers and having a screen twice the size of the one on your laptop can make all the difference in the world and improve productivity due to the additional screen space.

Replace your keyboard

Older keyboards can stick, lose keys, and have the writing rubbed off the keys, making it more difficult to tell a “prt screen” from a “delete” button. If the performance of your PC is hampered by a frustrating keyboard, an upgrade can be a very inexpensive way to improve your equipment.

Get an external hard drive

Computers can slow down and be more difficult to use when the hard drive fills up with data. Over the years, files build up, and many users never take the time to go through and delete those that are unnecessary.

Buying an external hard drive can allow you to offload files that may be slowing you down while still keeping them easily accessible.

Another benefit of an external hard drive is that it’s portable and can easily be carried between home and work and used in both places.

Get a professional PC tune-up

Those free PC cleaner tools you find online aren’t going to give you the type of tune-up that a professional IT provider can give.

We will go through things like the Windows Registry, duplicate system files, internal errors, and more to clean up your system and remove all the “junk” that has built up over the years.

We can also do a maintenance check for things like failing parts, and provide expert guidance on your most impactful upgrade options.

Don’t struggle with an older PC! We can help you with cost-effective upgrade options that will fit your system and budget perfectly.

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.

Tools To Improve Internal Communication In Your Business

Improved internal communication will build stronger teams, increase employee engagement, and enhance productivity.

You can build a better and friendly workplace by increasing communication between employees.

However, the main challenge is to implement an internal communication tool into your business system. Choosing the best tool among all is a difficult decision to make. Therefore you can choose among these top tools for internal communication:

Intranet is a centralized communication tool to share, gather, and access information. This is a private network that requires a web connection.

Digital Signage is a workplace communication tool that requires strategically placing screens. You can also use instant messaging applications dedicated to internal communication such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, etc.

After implementing the tool into your workplace, ask your employees to share all information through the channel. Then, create a team or assign managers to lead the communication process.

A communication team is better than a meeting, and you can utilize it in numerous ways, including training sessions and surveys.

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…]