5 best practices for IT security audits

A security audit is nothing less than a necessity for a company of any size. During this assessment, cybersecurity experts will scrutinize your digital infrastructure and business operations to find weak points.

Some audits are limited in scope, examining only a few aspects of a company’s cyber defenses. However, for the best results — especially if you haven’t had an audit in a while — go for a total inspection.

After all, potential vulnerabilities are everywhere. Perhaps your employees neglect web browsing safety practices; maybe your antivirus software is out of date, or perhaps any number of other things are going on with your network.

Here are some best practices for a successful and insightful audit.

1. Hire outside experts

You don’t want in-house IT pros handling this process. It’s like when people defend themselves in court; it almost never works out well.

Someone who works for you may be reluctant to be too critical, which could mean an incomplete report. Furthermore, when you inspect your own workplace, it’s easy to have blind spots and overlook problems.

Instead, seek excellent outside IT consultants to run the audit for you. Look for extensive experience with corporate security projects and enthusiastic references.

2. Get everyone on board

Call a company-wide meeting and let all of your employees know about your upcoming audit. You can explain why their full cooperation is essential, answer questions, ease concerns, and prevent rumors.

Also, you can find out if your staff members have any needs that you’ll have to work around. For instance, if one of your managers is showing a potential client around next Thursday morning, you could ask your auditors to show up after lunch that day.

3. Gather info beforehand

To expedite the process, ask your auditors ahead of time what information they’ll require. Then do your best to collect it all.

That info may include your network topology map as well as a list of your mobile devices, antivirus programs, app providers and so on. You might also need to provide them with an indemnification statement in case your network flags their activities as suspicious.

What’s more, ask your auditors for a copy of their official policies. That way, you can be sure that you’re comfortable with their tactics before you let them in.

4. Study the report

Once the audit is complete, the security pros will put together a customized plan for your company. Study that document carefully with your leadership team, and ask the IT experts for help with any parts you don’t understand. Afterward, organize another meeting with every employee to sum up the results and announce what will be changing.

Your IT consultants can then supply you with the hardware, software, monitoring services, staff training, and data storage on the cloud that you need. And they can formulate an ideal backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan for your organization.

5. Don’t let up

Remember that one security audit isn’t sufficient. Rather, an annual audit is wise considering how rapidly technology-related dangers change.

For sure, cyberattacks are scary. They happen frequently, and they strike mom-and-pop stores and international conglomerates with equal fury. They expose customers to identity theft and other serious crimes. They often put companies out of business within months if not days.

The only way to stop cyberattacks is with a layered, coordinated and high-tech defense system. And the best way to organize such a defense is to receive full audits from outstanding IT specialists.

4 common endpoints you should be protecting

In the world of information technology, an endpoint is what it sounds like. It’s a machine or device with which a person (the end user) accesses a company’s network and the internet in general. A list of endpoints includes computers, mobile phones, tablets, printers, and retail kiosks.

These days, many corporate cybersecurity plans emphasize techniques for defending mobile applications and operating systems. Nevertheless, it’s still vital to protect those precious endpoints. They can be attacked in various ways, making your entire digital infrastructure susceptible to criminal behavior.

Here are 4 endpoints you should always protect and some suggestions for keeping them safe.

Desktop and laptop computers

Don’t believe otherwise: You still have to install up-to-date firewalls and antivirus software on all of your computers.

Some people argue that antivirus programs are unhelpful because of zero-day attacks. A zero-day attack is one in which, on the day a software flaw is found, hackers break into IT networks via that weakness. In such situations, antivirus programs likely can’t save the day. However, around 70% of hacking attempts are not zero-day attacks, and antivirus programs can usually stop them effectively.

Believe it or not, the majority of data breaches occur when computers and laptops are stolen. For that reason, you should take special care to physically secure those machines. Chain them down whenever possible, and keep them inside locked rooms at night. Set up security cameras and alarms, too. And, if you have the budget to do so, you might hire an around-the-clock security team.

Phones and tablets

Many small businesses find it convenient to let their employees work remotely and even sometimes in the office, on mobile devices. To protect sensitive information, though, you should remind all of your workers to be extremely cautious with those tools.

It’s of the utmost importance that your staff members know what they’re doing and what they’re using at all times. That is, they shouldn’t click on any link, respond to any text message, use any public WiFi network or install any app on their mobile devices unless they are positive that they can trust the source.

On top of all that, when these cell phones and tablets are not in use, their Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities should be turned off.

Partners in protection

Of course, when it comes to endpoint safety, you never have to go it alone. To the contrary, reputable IT consultants can make sure that you have the strongest possible security measures in place. They can also review your company’s existing security policies and verify that they’re robust enough to counter today’s potent threats.

Perhaps above all, these consultants can educate your staff members. That way, your workers will understand what their responsibilities are when it comes to endpoint security. Respectful and thorough training programs reduce the kinds of employee errors that so often lead to hacks and breaches.

In sum, when endpoint protection becomes a company-wide priority, you can feel much more confident that your business secrets will stay secret and that your data will remain in the right hands.

8 helpful tips for safe web browsing

You don’t have to look far to find plenty of real-world examples for what can go wrong when you don’t treat the internet with the care it deserves. A careless mistake can have dangerous consequences.

Falling victim to a phishing scheme could cost you a lot of money, or worse – it could cost you your identity. Downloading unauthorized software could mean downloading malware that destroys your computer or invites a ransomware attack. As scary as these possibilities are, a little caution and some safe browsing guidelines will help ensure that you stay safe online.

We’ve compiled our 8 best tips for staying safe while you browse the web.

1. Limit sharing personal information

Every piece of personal information that you put online can become available to the world forever. Not everyone needs to know your home address, birthday, or relationship status. If you would not share it with strangers on the street, don’t share it with strangers online.

2. Manage your privacy settings

Marketers and hackers will do anything to learn all about you. They can learn a lot from your browser and social media usage. Web browsers, mobile operating systems, and social media platforms all have privacy-enhancing settings available. These settings can be difficult to find, but they are worth the work to safeguard your information.

3. Use a secure connection

Whenever possible, connect to the internet using a secure internet connection. Be cautious of unsecured public wi-fi. If you must use a public connection, avoid entering or accessing sensitive data while connected.

4. Be cautious of downloads

Downloads from unknown sources are often the vehicle used to deliver malware and viruses to unsuspecting users’ computers. Beware of downloading attachments from suspicious emails or unauthorized sources online. When installing software, look for software that has a valid SSL certificate.

5. Choose strong password

When it comes to choosing passwords, make sure to choose a unique password for each account. Choose something that is easy to remember, but difficult to guess. Read more tips on creating secure passwords for your accounts.

6. Shop securely

When shopping online, be certain that you only provide payment information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections. These sites start with https:// or are marked with a padlock icon near the address bar.

7. Stick to compliance/BYOD policies

Many organizations have strict BYOD (bring your own device) and compliance policies. These policies are in place to help ensure that you do not accidentally cause a data breach or disclose information in a non-compliant manner. The ramifications for not following these policies can be severe, including steep financial fines, so be sure to take these policies seriously.

Related: Expand your workflow potential by safely implementing BYOD

8. Keep your security software updated

While security software cannot protect you from every threat, it can protect you from most known viruses and detect and remove malware infections. It is important to keep your software up-to-date. You can set it up to automatically update so you don’t have to remember to update it yourself.

You can also use a managed IT services provider who will keep everything updated for you.

The basics of cloud computing

Even if you don’t work in technology, you’ve probably heard of cloud computing. Writers, accountants, and even landscapers use cloud computing. So do hugely popular services such as Netflix.

Here’s a look at the basics of cloud computing and how it can benefit your business.

How cloud computing got its name

Old telecommunication companies used a cloud symbol to represent the telephone network. Later, a cloud was used to represent a network or technology that was managed by someone else. Basically, the cloud symbolized a network or system you used but weren’t responsible for maintaining for running.

How cloud computing works

In a nutshell, cloud computing is the ability to store data at a remote location. In practice, it means that people are able to take advantage of on-demand computing services, apps, and processing power on a pay-as-you-go scheme over the internet. They can use devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even game consoles to access the cloud. However, when the internet is down, users cannot access the cloud.

With cloud computing, your business can:

  • Save money and space on an IT infrastructure
  • Get access to apps, file storage and more from a cloud provider
  • Tap into programs for word processing, design, marketing, sales, data analytics, and disaster recovery, among others
  • Scale operations up and down easily
  • Increase employee collaboration
  • Help more employees telecommute from home
  • Conduct distance training and seminars
  • Pay only for the resources it uses

Cloud computing examples

Many people use cloud computing and don’t even know it. For instance, you may have cloud storage set up for the pictures you take on your smartphone. Similarly, Gmail is a form of cloud computing, as are most of Google’s services. Netflix depends on cloud computing as well (through Amazon Web Services).

Microsoft Office 365 is a popular cloud service, and families and businesses can use apps such as Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

How cloud computing developed

Cloud computing landed in 2006 with Amazon as a leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. The companies to keep an eye on now include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and SAP.

Cloud computing has developed to include the following common uses:

  • IaaS (for servers, storage, and networking, among other things)
  • SaaS (software as a service, for software and applications through the internet)
  • PaaS (platform as a service, for building and delivering applications)
  • File storage
  • Disaster recovery
  • Backup
  • Big data analytics
  • Testing and development

Many vendors now only sell cloud versions of their software (like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud). Cloud software benefits the consumer because it has a cheaper, monthly cost and you always have the latest version of the software. It also benefits the vendor because all users are using the same version, which makes support and troubleshooting potential issues easier.

Public vs. private cloud

There are two main types of cloud computing available to businesses, public or private cloud. A hybrid cloud is a third option that combines a public and private cloud.

In a private cloud, your business uses cloud computing behind a firewall. The infrastructure for the cloud may be on site or off site. This type of cloud computing can be more secure, but it also costs more.

The public cloud is also secure, but may not have the same security measures required by some industry regulations. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party provider and are cheaper and easier to set up.

For more on cloud computing, check out this article that discusses cloud security myths and other cloud myths.

7 cloud computing myths debunked

New technology brings about great innovation, but also myths and misconceptions about how it works. Cloud computing is no exception. With cloud computing on the rise, it’s no wonder people have questions about how it works.

We debunk 7 common cloud myths so you’ll know exactly what to expect before making the leap to the cloud.

#1 You will lose control

Moving to the cloud means that as your business grows, you’ll no longer need to swap hard drives or use extra RAM. You will still control access to your data, as well as work processes, but will have to spend less time on things like system maintenance. You will also find it easier to grow or shrink your operations as needed, give you more control over the future of your business.

#2 The cloud is more expensive

The cost of cloud computing depends on the amount of data you store, your backup needs, and the number of users and applications. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud computing. You only pay for what you use, which can be instantly upgraded or downgraded as needed. This scalability helps you save money on your IT expenses.

#3 The cloud is not secure

Cloud services are more secure than most traditional infrastructures. Instead of you being responsible for the security of your data, with the cloud you gain a team of experts dedicated to protecting your data and preventing all kinds of disasters. You also have the added security of backup and recovery services should anything happen.

#4 The cloud is unreliable

Every system in existence will suffer from setbacks now and then and it’s important to know how downtime can affect your business. But unlike traditional infrastructure, with cloud computing, your data isn’t all stored in one place. This means that if an issue does arise, all of your files are safe and getting everything back up and running again will take a fraction of the time, compared with traditional systems.

#5 The cloud costs your IT staff their jobs

Any new software or technology requires people to effectively implement it into your business structure. The cloud is not a people replacer, it’s an innovative tool that allows your staff to focus on priorities and projects that drive your business forward and meet your objectives.

#6 Changes are difficult

Adopting a cloud infrastructure isn’t like traditional systems where you need to manually access and update all the machines at your site when deploying something new. Cloud computing offers a more innovate way of working, remotely and over the Internet. You can make large changes to a number of users without being chained to a desk, saving you a ton of time.

#7 Cloud migration is too time-consuming

This will only really be true if you’re working with extremely outdated servers and you need to do lots of technical cleansing to your systems. But for the most part, an experienced and reliable cloud provider will be able to assist in migrating all of your data efficiently and smoothing with the lowest amount of downtime possible.

What Can IT Consultants Do for Businesses?

IT consultants advise clients on the best ways to use information technology to meet their business objectives. Similarly, they help clients resolve IT-related issues to increase productivity and performance across multiple departments. This includes software applications and network data security, along with hardware implementation for enhancing IT structure and efficiency in various organizations.

Still, the role of IT consultants differs from managed services in many ways. Here are some of the key roles these well-versed and experienced professionals play in the world of digital computing.

How can an IT consultant help my business grow?

The job of an IT consultant is complex and intricate at best. In fact, they must stay abreast of all the latest industry developments and trends. This enables them to guide companies on the right path to growth, while ensuring maximum correlation between their technical teams and staff.

By understanding your business model and strategies, consultants are able to tweak and modify areas that need efficient IT-related improvement. Similarly, they are able to monitor your brands’ development and growth – while fostering safe and secure environments and platforms for everyday business and communications. IT consultants also offer the following for companies of all sizes and industries:

  • Advise clients on the best solutions for data security, networking, communications and daily business directive and goals.
  • Analyze and assess existing IT platforms, while recommending the right technologies to streamline and centralize cost-efficiency; apps, software, hardware, cloud servers and even BYOD plans.
  • Diagnose and refine your business challenges to increase productivity, performance, and lead – profit – revenue generation.
  • Serving as bridges between your technical teams and staff. Making sure everyone is on the same page towards achieving your short-term and long-term goals.

What if I already have an IT team in place?

Not a problem. IT consultants are not there to replace your in-house or remote IT teams. They are, however, there to work with your technical teams, while making sure your IT infrastructure is operating at peak performance levels. With that in mind, your consultant is also able to ensure the following:

  • Working with your IT teams to effectively communicate with the rest of the staff. This bridges the gap between those who know and those who don’t, but also increases high-quality performance across all levels and departments.
  • Analyze all possible threats and risks with timely, effective and lasting solutions. Increase your business growth by helping your brands tap into the latest innovative technologies. That includes app development, mobile device management, software- web application security, cloud, help desk support, and unified communications.
  • Guaranteeing business continuity with an IT infrastructure that is up and running 24/7. Helping your brands’ secure higher visibility with little to no downtime for upgrades and maintenance. Keeping your client and employee communications safe, secure and running – even during inclement weather.
  • Consultants also provide network support services for monitoring your business systems and platforms. This ensures optimal communications for daily communications for customer – client and staff fulfillment.

What skills does an IT consultant bring to the table?

IT consultants have years of extensive industry experience. They are also highly trained in making sure your company is making the most of its IT plan and network. From relevant advice and effective communications to technical and IT knowledge, consultants bring a plethora of vital skills to the table. They also have the tools and expertise to offer true business insight, while implementing techniques that improve IT management and performance at every turn.

If your business needs IT revamping and remodeling, consultants are able to breathe new life into your business platforms and protocols. Most consultants have a proven track record of success, and are able to meet and address your IT needs within time and budget.

5 things IT consulting does for your business

IT consulting is different than hiring an in-house IT team or using a third party IT firm to handle all the technical needs for your business. An IT consultant may only work with your business for a short time. They can also come in intermittently to make sure everything is running as it should and make adjustments or recommendations.

Here are 5 ways hiring an IT consultant could help you:

1. Make projects happen

You’ve been considering a technological project, but you are not a technical expert. It can be hard to launch other projects when you are focused on your small business’ day-to-day operations.

Whether it is implementing a new CRM, setting up services in the cloud or making sure your technology infrastructure is truly secure, an IT consultant can come in and make it all happen, finally.

IT consulting can leaves you with space to focus on your area of expertise while giving you the comfort knowing your project is not simply getting done but getting done in a timely manner with professional oversight and accountability.

2. Help you get the most bang for your buck

IT consultants can help your business save money by implementing new and innovative solutions. For example, virtualization can help your business run multiple operating systems on the same server, letting you harness the power of different programs while saving you money on server space.

Moving to cloud services and storage with the help of IT consulting can also save money on expensive physical data storage costs.

3. Keep you secure

Digital security is of the utmost importance in this day and age. One way IT consultants can help to keep your business and data safe is by helping you to manage mobile devices and policies around employees using their own devices for work.

An IT consultant can make sure that your team connects via a secure VPN to encrypt any data transferred between mobile devices and your company’s valuable digital assets.

They can also help you come up with policies that protect data during the onboarding and offboarding process when personal devices are involved. IT consultants can also further minimize risk by training your team on digital safety risks like phishing schemes and malware viruses.

4. Be prepared for disaster

Hire an IT consultant to get your business ready for the unthinkable. Of course you hope you will never need to use these solutions, but it’s best to be prepared. Let an IT expert help you come up with a disaster recovery plan for your technology infrastructure, create trustworthy backups and educate your team on how to avoid errors that could lead to data loss.

5. Communicate better

Communication is the foundation of any small business. You have to communicate with your employees, your vendors and your clients.

Having the latest in VoIP technology, seamless integration of applications like Office 365 and other modern solutions, and proper training on using these tools can make your office function as efficiently as possible.

Contact an expert IT consultant to get more information on how consulting can help with your small business IT needs.

5 Ways to Save Money on IT Expenses

Every company has to spend money on IT in some form or fashion. If you can save money without sacrificing productivity and security, though, you can direct some additional cash to other areas of your business.

Lower your IT expenses by following these 5 tips.

Adopt a BYOD Policy

In 2017, about 80% of employees brought their own mobile devices to work. That’s not surprising, considering 77% of Americans own smartphones.

Since most of your employees already bring mobile devices to work, you can adopt a BYOD (bring your own device) policy so you don’t have to spend money on smartphones for them. Research shows that you’ll get a boost in productivity while you save money.

Keep in mind that BYOD can make your business more susceptible to security problems. Make sure you set strict security standards to protect your organization.

Turn to the Cloud

Using the cloud for applications and data storage offers several cost-saving advantages. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Reducing your labor costs.
  • Saving money on equipment.
  • Lowering the amount that you spend housing and powering equipment.
  • Using a pay-as-you-go model to spread costs out over time.

If you haven’t started using the cloud, then you’re almost certainly spending more money than necessary on your equipment and software.

Use More Open Source Applications

Buying enterprise software can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can avoid those IT expenses by switching to free, open source applications. Many of the free applications work just as well as the ones that cost a lot of money.

Some of the most popular open source applications that you can explore include:

Explore several open source applications to find options that match your business’s needs.

You can also save money by using an open source operating system. Windows 10 Enterprise costs about $84 per user per year. Depending on how many employees you have, that charge can add up to a significant amount of money. You can avoid that expense by using an OS like Ubuntu, Fedora, Solus, and other Linux-based systems. You will, however, have to spend more time training employees to use a Linux-based OS.

Important note: While the costs savings will be apparent from the get-go, keep in mind that these open source applications will be considerably harder to support. If something goes wrong, you might find yourself out of luck.

Keep that in mind when considering if they’re worth it to you.

Invest in Equipment That Will Last

Buying inexpensive equipment may seem like a good way to save on IT expenses. Unfortunately, cheap equipment won’t perform as well as equipment that costs a little more. By investing more money in your equipment today, you can avoid additional spending in the future. After all, it’s better to purchase a server that lasts 5 years instead of two that last 2 or 3 years.

Keep in mind that expensive equipment doesn’t always work better than cheaper alternatives. You should always read reviews and talk to IT professionals before you invest in any equipment.

Let Some Employees Telecommute

Telecommuting has a lot of benefits. It can increase employee productivity, reduce turnover, and improve morale. Letting employees work remotely also means that you don’t have to spend money on computers, energy, and office space.

Certain employees, of course, need to work in the office. There’s a good chance, though, that you can let some of your team members work from home. In return, you’ll spend considerably less money on IT.

Final Thoughts on IT Expenses

You’ll always have to spend money on IT expenses. If you follow these tips, though, you can shrink your IT budget. If you’re looking for a better way to cut costs, consider reaching out to a professional that can audit your technology. Working together with you, a consultant can show you exactly what you can cut from the budget (and what you shouldn’t).

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect IT Budget

Like other aspects of your business, your IT infrastructure needs a budget that describes how you will spend money to reach your goals. Ideally, you should make a new IT budget each year.

During some years, you may not make any changes to your budget. During other years, though, you may need to drastically increase or decrease the amount of money that you spend on IT.

Follow these 5 steps to create the perfect IT budget for your SMB’s short-term and long-term goals.

1. Review Last Year’s IT Budget

If you made an IT budget last year, review it to determine where you want to make changes. If you spent money on new equipment, such as desktop computers or a new server, last year, then you probably don’t need to buy those items again.

You can also use last year’s budget to find recurring expenses easily.

2. Know the Cost of Your Recurring Expenses

Certain IT costs won’t change much from year to year. Some common recurring IT expenses include:

  • Cloud storage space
  • Renewing software licenses
  • URL registration
  • Content management systems

Your recurring costs may differ from those of other companies. Take a close look at how your business spends money so you can identify recurring expenses that you haven’t included in past budgets.

3. Take Inventory of Your IT Equipment

Make a list of your IT equipment and how old the items are. Once you have a completed list, you can decide whether you need to update your equipment.

You have some discretion when it comes to how often you update your IT equipment. Most companies purchase new desktop and laptop computers every 3 to 5 years. A 5-year-old computer may seem to work well, but it probably can’t keep up with the speed of newer models. Hanging on to old equipment, therefore, could lower the productivity of your employees.

Other pieces of technology that you might need to update include:

  • Servers (about every 3 years)
  • WiFi routers (every 4 or 5 years)
  • Mobile devices (every 2 or 3 years)

If it’s time to upgrade your IT equipment, then you need to create a line for that expense. If you don’t need any upgrades, then you can reserve your money for when the time comes.

4. Talk to Your Employees and Managers

Your employees and managers may have a better idea than you do about what upgrades you need. After all, they’re the people who use your equipment and applications daily.

Take some time to talk to your managers and employees to learn more about what they would like to see in next year’s IT budget. If you hear the same requests from a lot of people, consider adding a line to your budget. Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to fulfill the whims of a few people. Only add the expenses if you’ll get a good return on your investment.

5. Plan for the Future

This year’s budget should include a line for research and development that will improve your companies ability to compete with other businesses in your industry. Depending on your industry, this may include things like:

  • Sending managers to IT conferences to learn about upcoming products
  • Hiring coders to update proprietary software
  • Improving your IT infrastructure security against the latest cyberthreats

Researching your future needs will make it easier for you to predict your IT expenses over the next few years.

IT Budgeting

The perfect IT budget ensures that you spend money wisely while you update your SMB’s technology. You can take a stab at making an IT budget without outside help, but you run the risk of missing an important line item.

If you haven’t made an IT budget before, then you may need to hire a consultant to help you find hidden costs and make accurate predictions. We’re more than happy to assist you with creating a solid budget that will accurately account for your expenses.

5 Productivity Hacks for Small Businesses

Small businesses have to stay as productive as possible so they can meet their goals and compete against larger companies. Even if you think your business has the tools that it needs to make employees more productive, you can probably find some room for improvement.

Start with these 5 productivity hacks for small businesses so you can make your company even more competitive.

Use Apps to Make Collaborating Easier

If your employees rely on email to collaborate with each other, then they’re wasting a lot of time that they could devote to finishing other tasks. You can make collaborating easier by using apps that are uniquely designed to help people work together.

Some of the top collaboration tools to consider include:

The tool that you choose will depend on the kind of work that your company does. Review your options so you can choose a cloud-based application that fits your needs. This is a simple productivity hack that will have you working better in no time at all.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Many of your employees repeat the same tasks every day. Make them more efficient by automating repetitive tasks. That way, they don’t have to waste time on work that computers can do for them.

In fact, there are a lot of automation tools to consider.

Try AutoHotKey to make shortcut hotkeys to automate desktop tasks like opening emails, editing documents, and completing forms. Workflow can automate tasks on iOS devices. Tasker can automatically open apps, send notifications, and perform other tasks on Android devices.

Related: Your Go-to Guide for Total Technology Control

Adopt the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique helps people concentrate by breaking the day into short sections. Each Pomodoro sessions lasts 25 minutes. After each session, you get a 5-minute break. After every fourth session, you get a longer break.

Even if you hate what you’re working on, you can focus on it when you know that you get a short break within 25 minutes.

If you’re new to the Pomodoro Technique, use an app like Marinara Timer, Focus Booster, or PomoDone. Some Pomodoro apps can connect to other applications, like Evernote or Trello, to boost productivity even more.

Let Employees Follow Flexible Schedules

Several studies show that employees become more flexible when they can follow flexible schedules. If possible, don’t force your people to work rigid hours. If you let them some control over their schedules, then they could become up to 25% more productive.

Letting employees work from home boosts productivity even more. One study shows that employees who work from home are 43% more productive than their colleagues working in the office. How’s that for an easy productivity hack?

Related: How Does the Cloud Work, and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Use Site Blockers to Stay Focused

Many of your employees probably need internet access to do their jobs. Unfortunately, the internet offers unlimited time-wasters that can distract people from their work. You think that you’re only going to spend 5 minutes checking your Facebook messages. The next thing you know, half an hour has gone by and you haven’t accomplished anything.

Some of the most effective site-blocking apps and browser extensions include:

These tools rely on you (or your employee) to choose which sites to block. If you have more than 25 employees, you may want to have an IT professional block popular sites that waste a lot of time.

Staying productive gets much easier when you have the right tools on your side. Explore these options so you can choose productivity hacks that will work well for your business.

How GB Tech Helps You Stay Productive

As your go-to technology advisor, we’re here to help you choose the best tools and tech for your business. If you’re looking for new ways to optimize and improve your small business, reach out to us. Of course, we’ve got more productivity hacks up our sleeve, too.

We’ve got experts that can help you save time through IT services and a lasting partnership.

Hungry for more? Be sure to check out How to Create the Perfect BDR Plan.