So what is your summer intern doing online between tasks when you’re not looking over their shoulder?
You’d be surprised to know that nationwide, 50% to 70% of companies are blocking social media sites through their corporate network because countless hours are wasted each day on social media sites. We are finding an increased number of our clients asking for such necessary restrictions.
To help combat this sensitive situation, companies are reluctantly blocking access to websites such as Facebook and Twitter in order to prevent their employees from wasting work hours on social media & personal websites. But decreased productivity is not the only reason for this growing trend. Many companies fear the negative impact that these sites could potentially have on their business, their network infrastructure and corporate reputations. Our clients say that by allowing access to social network sites it can greatly increases their online risk.
This is a controversial topic because on the other hand, employees obviously disagree with their employer for blocking access to these websites because they believe there are benefits to social media at work that go well beyond Marketing departments. For one, it can get boring sitting around an office doing the same thing every day for hours and hours and a quick look at what your friends are up to is a welcome change of pace. Therefore, employees can be happy and relaxed if they know it’s OK when log on to their social media accounts to take a quick break – which actually often not results in the same time required for a quick coffee break. With all this said, we won’t even discuss the “big brother” effect that employees feel from such restrictions. Further compounding the issue is that nowaday’s the majority of employees have smartphones, iPhones, etc and are accessing these websites right out of their pocket regardless.
You might think that it almost seems a waste of effort for employers to block websites on computers when employees can access the sites anyways. But, as an employer you have to look at the benefits that clearly outweigh the negative employee morale of blocking access. For example, one of the largest risks is the mere simplicity of posting updates, pictures, etc. combined with the ease of access to sensitive customer information, which is typically not available from home. Another commonly overlooked risk is the introduction to new viruses and malware on the network which can easily be drawn from the sites and their advertisers. Last year alone, we saw a 200% increase in service requests that can be tracked back to social media site browsing!
With the right combination of strategy, planning and exection your business can successfully take a few simple steps to protect your network; and blocking social media sites is just ONE piece of the puzzle. LANConnect can help guide you along the entire path!
Mailing Checks Vs. Online Bill Pay
It’s an age-old process: receive mail, open envelope, get paper cut, cry a little, get a band-aid, finish taking document out of envelope, browse over document, write check, place check in provided envelope, place stamp on envelope, slap address label on envelope… you get the point. Sounds like a lot of work. What about using the computer you’re already sitting in front of, browse to your online bank account, click “bill pay”, enter dollar amount, and click “submit”. Online bill pay is more efficient, environmentally-friendly and just plain smart. How can a small business owner on the top of their game still keep filing cabinets full of old paid bills and copies of bank deposits?
Why still mail invoices to customers? You use e-mail for everything else, so this super quick method to get an identical copy of the same document sent to clients in mere seconds sounds like the way to go.
Newspapers and Magazines
How long are you keeping customers waiting in your lobby? Hopefully not long enough to read an entire two page article in Forbes Magazine or the Boston Globe. Why not upgrade to the 21st century and invest in an economical flat-screen LCD monitor mounted on the wall and play a slideshow of your company services or stream the local news? This shows customers you are up with modern times and aren’t promoting the spread of germs by sharing table literature. The only paper on tables should be versatile, like company brochures and informational booklets that you can also bring on sales calls and hand out at tradeshows.
Who still uses a fax machine? A better way to fax is signing up for an online fax service. You upload the file you would normally print then send it over the Internet to the receiver’s fax machine. Or you could simply e-mail the same document without the use of an online fax service at all. Thinking of buying a new fax machine? Why not spend that $500 on a new scanner to scan those millions of paper documents sitting in your clunky filing cabinets and perform a little thing called digital archiving. And while you’re at it, develop a new company procedure to scan documents for storing in an organized, shared filing system on your company network.
Paper is not an investment. Technology is.