Attention Span Statistics That Affect The WorkForce

Concentration in the workforce is vital for employers and employees alike. It goes without saying that employees need to have concentration on their jobs to fulfill their functions and the overall organization/company to thrive. However, there has been recurring data that implies that employee productivity and concentration is lagging as a result of trends and habits in the workplace.

Open offices have become a trend among organizations. The logic has been to foster a symbolic sense of organizational mission, making employers feel like they were in a relaxed, creative work environment. Despite all this, open offices were damaging to the workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking and satisfaction. Even with this effect on concentration of open offices, 70% of all offices now have an open floor plan.

The strengths of open offices are that they enhance a collaborative atmosphere with employees immediately close to each other and being able to transparently communicate. The downsides of increasing open office environments are the effects on concentration. A 2018 Jabra Knowledge Worker Survey stated that 81% of knowledge workers report that noise and interruptions significantly impact their productivity. Noise and interruptions are what makes open offices a double-edged sword.

After getting distracted, employees also have to get back to their work and resume productivity. A study has shown that the average time it takes to get back into full focus following an interruption was 23 minutes. The same study’s data has shown that people compensate for interruptions by working faster; experiencing more stress, higher frustration, time pressure and effort.

The purpose of this collection of studies was not to argue against open, collaborative office spaces; but to highlight problematic trends that surround office productivity. However, these issues with decreased productivity and attention can be resolved with the appropriate tech solutions that accommodate work space productivity.

Two Digital Meeting Tools That Enhance Collaboration (And Their Features)

Videoconferencing has become a popular communicative tool. Everyday groups of professionals that are not necessarily in the same vicinity (or simply do not have time to meet in person) use a videoconferencing tool to facilitate meetings. Since we have provided prior advice on how to buy video conferencing tools, here we have two tools that we recommend, Cisco Webex and Citrix GoToMeeting. Below we provide a list of features each distinct product has. Keep in mind that some of their features may overlap!

Cisco Webex has the following features:

  • Web and Video Conferencing
  • Conferencing
  • Webinar
  • Chat and Brainstorming Tools
  • Application/File Sharing
  • Multimedia content sharing
  • Call Sharing

Citrix GoToMeeting has the following features:

  • One-Click Meetings and One-Click Recording
  • Call to Join meeting
  • Toll-Free Option
  • Meeting Scheduler Function
  • Built-In Audio
  • Toll-Free Option
  • Personal meeting Room
  • Join Via Desktop/Mobile Options
  • Desktop/Application Sharing
  • Drawing Tools
  • Virtual Whiteboard
  • Hand Over Control

Adopting videoconferencing tools can consolidate communications and digitize meetings. These efforts and initiatives can cut costs for organizations and boost the idea of remote work.

Team Collaboration Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges

As technology advances, it increasingly affects the work environment across many industries. Thanks to technology, there has been a surge of remote work employment the past decade. The State of the Remote Job Marketplace report from Flexjobs says there are now 3.9 million Americans or 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce who work from home at least half the time.

The increase of remote work comes with a growth in communication with remote colleagues. For example, a Microsoft Survey stated that 78% of the workforce report that they communicate with remote colleagues daily. These trends in remote work comes with its fair share of issues. Remote employees and in-house staff need to have digital meetings to foster productivity and teamwork. A Jabra Knowledge worker survey from 2015 reported that 63% of participants report that their meeting performance was negatively impacted by tech issues. Additionally, 10% of the average 45 minute meeting was reported to have been spent on tech glitches.

These statistics demonstrate that while remote work is on the rise, it comes with many obstacles that may hinder employment productivity. This is why it is important for organizations to adopt the appropriate cloud and hardware solutions to alleviate many of these technical setbacks.

Study Provides Tech Buyers Tips On Video-Conferencing Tools

IDC has done a comprehensive study on market trends around videoconferencing. The research was a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that can help videoconferencing solutions gain success with technology buyers.

According to the study, the increasing use of videoconferencing within organizations is being driven by a desire to:

  • Collaborate more effectively (via high-resolution video, audio, and data content and other tools and capabilities) with a wider circle of coworkers in huddle rooms, at desktops, in remote offices and on mobile devices from any location.
  • Expand the use of video externally to include the growing demand for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) sessions with customers, clients, business partners, and prospects.
  • Integrate/embed video with key business processes and applications (e.g., customer service, HR, remote diagnostics and distance learning).

For videoconferencing to be a successful purchase, IDC recommended technology buyers to consider the following:

  • The video-conferencing solution should be user-centric with richer, more intuitive user interface (UI) – basically a single software-based interface to manage video collaboration from whatever device, from any location, with data content, across any applications that may be integrated with one or more company business processes.
  • Solution providers should demonstrate that video integration with UC&C solutions (telephones, instant messaging, web conferencing, and other collaboration applications) increases the overall value of video solutions for customers and shows a vendor/partner commitment to selling solutions compared with just selling standalone videoconferencing systems.
  • As an alternative to deploying video network infrastructure on-premises, video-as-a-service (VaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings can provide much-needed flexibility and scalability and are less capital-intensive options for buyers to consider for videoconferencing.
  • Video cloud services should be considered for those organizations lacking the IT skills and resources to manage and support their own enterprise video infrastructure. Video cloud services can enable companies to deploy video with limited IT resources, provide end-user access to video sessions regardless of location for a monthly fee per client or endpoint, and simplify firewall integration, traversal, and management. In short, cloud can help change the economics of videoconferencing for many companies, especially small and midsize companies.
  • Organizations should be aware of the opportunity that web browsers present for real-time video collaboration. A web browser provides an alternative for anyone who does not have access to a room or other video endpoint system or does not have a vendor software client installed on his or per PC or mobile device. Depending on the circumstances, a web browser usually requires a software plug-in to be installed to support a specific vendors’ collaboration session (e.g., for audio and video).
  • For capturing, storing, and managing the many video collaboration sessions that occur within organizations for on-demand access by employees, solutions such as video content management, rich media content streaming, and application sharing continue to draw significant interest from customers.

With new advancements in videoconferencing technology, buyers ought to consider what their options are. In the tech industry of today, videoconferencing can conveniently take place in the Cloud.

Robotic Automation Can Enhance Employee Value

Despite common fearful connotations surrounding artificial intelligence; it is already becoming commonplace in today’s business sector via automation. For example, we see chat bots in websites that respond with automated responses catered to the specific inquiries.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an emerging technology practice that streamlines enterprise operations and reduce costs. It is a way for businesses to automate processes to boost employee productivity while enhancing cost-effectiveness. RPA examples include can include software bots that take care of tedious tasks such as data entry, invoice processing, sales order, payroll, employee on-boarding, User termination etc.

Enabling the automation of repetitive mundane tasks empowers employees to redirect their attention to creative and strategic projects whilst the tasks at hand are addressed. If employees at large are more involved in creative advancement of the overall organization, that can prove beneficial and cost-effective for companies and organizations.

This content was in reference to this report.

Why Organizations Need Expert Support When it Comes to Print Security

Data security used to be a concern relegated to large enterprises. Small and medium size business (SMB) owners were more likely to worry about their information security as customers than in a business context. But as the digital age evolves, the security threat landscape is becoming more complex, and SMBs are increasingly in the crosshairs. Nearly half of all cyber attacks target small businesses, and the losses aren’t small. In fact, the average loss for every 100 compromised records is $25,450 – to say nothing of the damage a breach could do to your company’s reputation.

Although a Xerox study showed that more than 40% of businesses still rely primarily on paper processes, most don’t make print security a priority, choosing to focus instead on their desktops, laptops and servers – if there’s a security plan in place at all. Hackers know this.

Many businesses don’t appreciate the seriousness of the risk. Today’s new multifunction printers are going beyond print, scan, fax and copy to truly help SMBs increase productivity and improve the way they work. But left unsecured, any intelligent networked device can act as an open door to the network if left unprotected. Reports of MFPs being hacked through open ports is becoming more common and demonstrates the need to ensure devices are protected from unauthorized access.

Another surprising risk comes from your people themselves. From BYOD to paper left in the printer tray to simple mistakes made by a busy employee, team members, though well intentioned, can be a serious security risk, one that is likely to fly under your radar. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize the risks to your business, and they are surprisingly easy to manage.

Assess the Threat

If you’re a larger organization with a diverse printer fleet, you should strongly consider enlisting the help of a Document Management Services (DMS) provider to assess device, fleet and enterprise document security. An assessment will locate the existing points of vulnerability and help you put a customized security plan in place that takes into account all factors, from user access to what to do with the device and its stored data when it’s time to upgrade. 

Integrate Device Protection

Hard drive encryption is standard on most MFPs, along with data overwrite features. Data overwriting can help you safely upgrade to a new device when the time comes, without worrying what information is leaving with it. A sound, comprehensive device protection service ensures that your MFPs do not provide open access to the network, and that all open ports are closed as needed. Lastly, enabling automatic firmware and software updates means you never have to worry about installing patches or making other manual adjustments. You’ll always have the most up to date protection, without any interruption to your workflows, or assigning additional responsibilities to your team members.

Secure Your network

There are a number of ways to make your MFP more secure. The most common way is to encrypt print jobs to make it safe for sensitive documents to be printed via a wired or wireless network. Xerox MFPs use a comprehensive set of capabilities to prevent malicious attacks and unauthorized access. Those devices enabled with Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology also feature McAfee® Embedded Control technology which uses application whitelisting technology to protect its devices from corrupt software and malware.

Regain Control

Few business owners restrict print access because most don’t realize the threat posed by unrestricted printing. While your team members will likely never put your business at risk deliberately, mistakes like leaving critical data in a printer tray can easily lead to a breach – not to mention the print costs that add up when people print documents they don’t need. PIN and pull printing enables print jobs to be saved electronically on the device, or on an external server, until the authorized user is ready to print them. The user provides a PIN code or other authentication method such as a swipe card, or fingerprint to release the print once they’ve arrived at the printer. No more wasted paper, and no more unsecured information sitting in the printer tray. Access controls can also ensure that only authorized users can access your MFP’s functionalities, an important feature when you’re using a printer with app technology, or one that holds sensitive information on its hard drive.

Monitor Your Devices Now and Into the Future

The more devices and employees you have, the more complicated the task of understanding what is being printed, scanned and copied where and by whom. A knowledgeable DMS partner can integrate print management tools that will allow them to monitor and track the usage of every MFP in your organization, giving you valuable feedback like which devices are being used, how, and by whom. This is an important piece of the puzzle as it not only protects the security of your devices and the information they store; it can ultimately lead to reduced costs and a more effective document management system.

For most businesses, print security is an overlooked risk and an under-appreciated benefit. By entrusting a DMS provider to build an integrated approach to print security, you can protect your most valuable asset, your data, in a way that is hassle and headache free.

Optional: Contact us today and let’s have a conversation about how Document Management Services can help you protect your business.

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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