Technology has come a long way and done wonders for business. Everything we can possibly need is right at our fingertips. Unfortunately, it is also accessible to hackers as well. You’re vulnerable to malicious attacks that could permanently damage your business. It’s time to wake up and invest in learning about cyber security strategies and to protect your business data. Below are a few simple ways for you to be sure all of your information is safe.
The biggest threat facing your business is unsecure communication. Many companies still choose to transmit information via relatively unsecure channels such as email or direct mail. Implement secure communication methods by setting up a firewall, your network router should have one built in. Also, be sure to invest in a security program like McAfee or Norton, for example. Keep your information safe by turning to full-disk encryption tools, which come standard with most operating systems. Switching the encryptions of these devices to on shouldn’t take more than a minute and will encrypt every file on your drive without slowing it down.
Create a sophisticated password strategy for your business. If you have employees, they should be required to create passwords with combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Furthermore, passwords should be reset every few weeks.
Find and designate a point person to oversee your cyber security efforts. Even if employees are wearing multiple hats and handling a variety of responsibilities, it needs to be someone’s job to focus on security.
Be aware of cyber fraud in order to protect yourself and your business from them. Educating yourself in the process of cyber fraud will better prepare you for the possible attacks.
Implement a policy about personal use of company computers. This isn’t to say you can’t have some leniency. But, know and make known, your policy about taking computers home and use at the office.
Make sure you back up your work. This is an easy thing to do that too many people don’t practice. There are few things worse than having all of your data lost when your computer shuts down.
Have a plan to respond to a security breach for the company. Even practice it annually to make sure that all the steps are clear and still relevant. Securing your business against hackers is an ongoing job. No system or software can provide you 100% protection. But it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
The above tips can be implemented to offer security that can guarantee your business data is not only secured but you also have the appropriate attitude towards security. Make security the key focus of your business, continue to educate yourself and your employees and customers, and staying on top of the threats will keep your business safe.
Brenda Sheaffer January 29th, 2018
Posted In: blog
The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh start, it’s important to have a decluttered and clean space. This includes your physical desk space, computer, and your business. With the average work week hovering just under 50 hours, it’s no surprise to learn that our desk organization is suffering. Your home office is meant to be a place where you can be productive and feel good in when you come into it, and leave it.
Take an inventory of your home office. How much of the contents of your space are used often and how much of it has been sitting untouched. Decluttering is your first step. Determine what office supplies you need to get your job done, everything else, donate to a worthy cause. This is also a good time to clean out that junk drawer. Use small containers in your drawers so keep it organized and prevent a future junk drawer.
Keep only the essentials on your desk, your computer, a notepad, and of course your coffee, tea or favorite beverage and put the rest in drawers or containers. When you start using the space for more than its intended use, you will do that activity before you work. Removing them allows our mind to better focus on the most important project of the moment. A clean desk also makes for a great first impression to your potential clients.
Next, decluttering your actual computer will help speed it up, free up storage, and make room for all of your 2018 plans. Start by clearing up your desktop. Create folders and label everything. A great idea would be to create a folder that is dedicated only to meetings, whether it is presentation notes, or notes on someone else’s presentation. Having a folder dedicated solely to meeting materials means you’ll have quick access for when you forget your next steps, or need some help preparing for a follow-up.
Take five minutes at the end of your day to clear off any clutter from your desk that may have accumulated throughout the day. A simple clearing away of used coffee cups, your lunch container, and any unorganized documents will help you leave your place of business with peace of mind. It’ll leave your mind at peace when you step away from work, and it’s always nice to come in to a clean desk in the morning.
If you have trouble enacting some of these new habits at first, don’t sweat it. Keeping a clean space can be very difficult, especially when you’re on a deadline, travel a lot for work, or have too many projects that need managing. For people working remotely, I’m sure keeping your workspace clean falls in line with keeping a clean house, which is always an uphill battle. But taking a couple minutes each day to tackle at least one of these great suggestions will provide big results in the end for your business, and a desktop you can be proud of.
Brenda Sheaffer December 14th, 2017
Posted In: blog
In today’s modern work environment the biggest and the most pressing challenge, is to maintain a work-life balance. It is hard sometimes to draw the line between our career and personal lives when the lines blur so much with our own work. In order to be your best at work it is important to find balance in your career and personal life. We have a few tips to help you work through the struggle of balancing your personal and work life together.
Defining personal boundaries with your workplace, both physically and mentally, will allow you to know when to shut off both your mind and work phone. You need to be clear about your daily job responsibilities. Get yourself from those non-priority tasks which will automatically free your time for your personal activities too. Adopting a team collaboration tool, can help you consolidate all your tasks into a centralized system, making it easy to track those important tasks and prepare a successful work-life balance accordingly.
When you’re away from work, be away from work. This is one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do, but it’s so important. When it’s time to stop working, I encourage you to shut down your computer, close the office door, and step away, both physically and mentally. That means no compulsively checking your email on your phone when you should be relaxing with your family! Make the decision to be present in the moment and enjoy your life.
Most of your daily personal activities are common, however creating a daily schedule for such activities becomes important, if you want to maintain a proper balance while performing them at work. For instance, if you are a social media fanatic, schedule time to browse those sites during specific time of the day, possibly during breaks. This will avoid distractions while you at work, as well as, enjoy your personal life too.
Busy is really code for “that’s not important to me right now.” So every time you want to say, “I’m too busy,” replace it with “that’s not important to me right now.” Once you do that, I guarantee it’ll be a lot harder for you to say no to the experiences, people, and events that contribute to a harmonious work-life balance, because you know how important they are.
When you are under some pressure, whether in your personal life or professional life, ask for help from your colleagues, family and friends. Realizing you need help and your willingness to ask can help in times of crisis in your life and give you a better direction.
Learning to say ‘No’ can be one of the most effective ways to maintain harmony. Be polite in your gesture but be firm. Committing to more work than you can possibly do will lead to stress and this can hamper your personal life. Commit only to what you can comfortably do. Always remember that you can lead a successful life only when you have stability, both in your personal and professional life and are able to well balance it.
Brenda Sheaffer November 21st, 2017
Posted In: blog
Setting goals is something we’ve all done. It may come easier to some, but we could still use a little help when it comes to achieving goals. Here are a few tips for setting goals, staying on track and how to achieve them.
A well thought out plan will give you direction and structure. Make a plan and make sure you write down what you want to achieve and your timeframe. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. Allow ample time so you can break down your big goals into smaller ones that are achievable on a weekly basis. Whether it’s a long-term or short-term plan, make it detailed and try to stick to it. Good intentions will always give you good focus.
Make your goals specific. Vague goals make it difficult to stick to and will set you up for failure.
Focusing on goals which you can accomplish in the short-term is the motivating factor. Visualizing success can help you stay motivated during challenging times, see the bigger picture and not give up on your goals or yourself!
Give yourself a break from working on these goals occasionally. Taking a little bit of a break from your goals can be helpful. It allows you to refresh your perspective and not burn out. Take time to bounce back.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency.
You may ask or receive feedback and criticism that can sometimes be distractive. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of. Criticism can knock you off your career journey. But other times it can be invaluable career advice and actually help you to make you do the task at hand better. Listen carefully and respond in a positive fashion. Sometimes it can inspire you. Most times, it’s about how you accept it. Make honest targets, stay focused on your plan and reach high.
When you need to simplify your business so you can focus on your goals, The Office Quarters has the answer. It’s easy, just share your business goals with us and we’ll map out the workspace plan to get you there.
Brenda Sheaffer October 24th, 2017
Posted In: blog
Motivation is your fuel for your start up and your team runs on it. It’s not always easy to get your team motivated. Startup employees can get tired and burned out and it’s not always easy to work in a fast-paced environment. While there are always those that love to work, sometimes too much, don’t expect to motivate burned out workers with more work.
It’s an exciting time when you have a start-up team and you’re ready to grow your business. How do you create a fun and collaborative environment? Motivation has to be a constant priority and tone, focused more on the positive emotional and internal needs of a person, rather than their opportunity to simply make more money. Below are a few tips to help achieve just that.
Regular meetings with team members on a consistent basis is one of the easiest ways to keep a startup team motivated. Staying on the same page is crucial to success. Create an environment where every member can effectively communicate their ideas and suggestions. This environment also gives the team the opportunity to get to know each other and bond over time. Make sure you take this time to listen carefully and that everyone feels heard.
Every professional expects to be treated with respect, you have to give respect in order to get it in return. Show your team respect by your words and actions. This will show that you value their role. Positive social interactions with fellow team members lead to improved job satisfaction and motivation. Be sure to recognize and celebrate individual achievements, large and small, in front of the whole team, people feel wonderful about themselves. They feel more competent and eager to repeat the success or take on additional responsibility.
Always say “Thank You”. It’s amazing how a small gesture of gratefulness can brighten someone’s day when you least expect it. It’s always nice to hear and appreciation costs nothing but it will bring back incredible results.
Brenda Sheaffer September 19th, 2017
Posted In: blog