Printers and privacy have a complicated relationship- Here’s why

When you print, scan, or copy a document at home or in the office, it might look like any other document to your eyes. But, unbelievably, data on the page make it possible to track almost every document you’ve ever scanned, printed, or photocopied back to you.

Your printer logs everything

All modern printers keep some form of log. Depending on the make and model, the logs can be highly intrusive and even go as far as indefinitely retaining full copies of all material.

Printer logs can be a substantial and unexpected privacy risk, especially if they contain sensitive and personal information. This is a significant risk when disposing of or selling old printers, as people are rarely aware of how to wipe or destroy the hard drive safely.

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Three Tech Necessities To Enliven A Dull Commute

The daily commute to and from work is not something any of us look forward to. It’s lost time; time that could be better spent at work, or enjoying leisure activities at home. It’s dealing with the annoying behaviour of other commuters, the pushing and shoving, the being forced to sit too close to someone you don’t know. It’s a miserable experience, but one that we have to put up with if we want to be able to do our jobs.

It therefore makes sense to consider the potential for making the commute as enjoyable as possible — or, at least, as bearable as possible. If this is something you’re always going to be forced to do, then turning to technology could be the difference-maker that takes you from mild irritation to as-pleasant-as-possible commuting experience.

So what do you need to ensure the time you spend travelling to and from the office is as good as it can possibly be?

1) Smartphone Games That Don’t Require A Data Connection

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If your commute is around 30 minutes each way, then relying on a data connection as a means to entertain yourself is going to get expensive – fast. Browsing the web and social media is how most of us spend our commute, but an hour per day of such browsing is an unnecessary expense.

Instead, turn to smartphone games that you don’t need to be connected to the internet to play. Put your phone in airplane mode and play to your heart’s content, without having to worry about running up a huge data bill.

2) Headphones (That Won’t Annoy Your Fellow Commuters)  

Anyone who has ever been on public transport knows how irritating it can be to be forced to listen to the music of someone else. So if you’d rather zone out to music during your commute, you need to ensure that you’re not going to be one of those annoying commuters. Investing in a good set of best wireless Bluetooth headphones is a good first step, but it’s also worth promising yourself to keep the volume at a reasonable level.

At the very least, having a good option for listening to your own music means you’re going to be able to drown out the music of someone else if necessary!

3) A Reliable Power Source

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Smartphone batteries are terrible; this has been acknowledged, explained, debated, and discussed for years now. Given that we seem to have reached a peak point of performance when it comes to battery life, you’re going to need to ensure that you can keep your phone powered through your commutes. After all, if your phone is going to be your main source of entertainment during the daily work travel, then the last thing you want is for it to run out and leave you stuck with nothing to do.

Portable power banks have been around for a few years now, but they still have huge variances in their quality and durability. As a general rule, opt for a larger bank – around 20,000mAh should suffice – so you can be sure of multiple top-ups, just in case you forget to recharge it every night.

So while commuting is never going to be your favourite activity, the above should make it a little easier to deal with!

Is The Virtual Office The Future Of The Workplace?

New communication technology is constantly making the world feel smaller. At the time, the invention of the telephone revolutionized the way that people worked. Contact was no longer limited to people in the surrounding area and communicating with people that weren’t nearby meant days of traveling. These days, we have the capability to collaborate with people all over the globe at the touch of a button and it has drastically changed the way that businesses operate. The ease of sharing information and the availability of technology means that the traditional office set up is quickly becoming obsolete. You might not realize it yet because most businesses still have a physical premises, but more and more people are starting to turn to virtual offices instead. You no longer need to fill your office with employees from the local area. Now you can employ people from all over the globe and have them work remotely.

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Is A Virtual Office Better?

People have a lot of reservations about the idea of people working remotely but most of them are unfounded. The myth is that people will be less productive if they’re working from home because there are too many distractions and no authority figures to motivate you. For some people, this is probably the case, but most people tend to be more productive if anything.

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Recent studies by the Harvard business review show that people that work from home are, on average, far more productive. There are a few reasons for this, and they aren’t what you would expect. Most people expect there to be more effective communication between employees that are in an office together, but the truth is, people become more complacent. When employees are working remotely, they tend to put more effort into effective communication and work together a lot more effectively. Teams that don’t interact face to face that often also tend to make better use of their time when they do, so even though they work closely a lot less often, they are infinitely more productive when they do. Better use of technology is another benefit of working remotely. When you’re part of a virtual team, you rely far more heavily on technology than people that meet together on a daily basis. As technology becomes increasingly important, the employees that are better equipped to use are the ones that will thrive.

When it comes to distractions, people’s preconceptions are way off. When you’re working remotely from home, you aren’t distracted by any of the other people around you. In a rigid office environment, people are often looking for distractions but in a more relaxed home environment, people can concentrate a lot easier. Remote workers also, on average, work more hours than office workers because they aren’t limited to an eight hour work day.

One of the main benefits of a virtual team is that it massively reduces your overheads. Instead of needing a large office that can house all of your employees every day, you just need a much smaller space for the occasional team meeting.

It also means that you have a much wider choice when it comes to hiring employees. Instead of being limited to the best people in the local area, with a virtual office, you can choose from the best people in the entire world. You no longer have to compromise when it comes to hiring so you can create the very best team possible. By having employees around the globe, you can expand into new markets far more easily because you don’t need to set up expensive new offices every time.

What Are The Negatives?

By this point, you might think that starting a virtual office is a no brainer, but it does have its downsides. One of the biggest problems that people encounter is a lack of expertise. In a traditional office environment, if you have an IT problem, for example, you can head down the hall and find somebody to help you out. You won’t have that when you’re at home working as part of a virtual team. However, remote working is starting to correct those problems as fast as they arise. The experts that offer home IT services can repair most common issues remotely so you still get the benefit of a great IT team without having to wait for them to come out to you.

A good working relationship is important in any workplace because a team that don’t gel well together won’t work efficiently. In an office environment when you’re working together every single day, those relationships are far easier to build. When you’re part of a virtual team and you tend to communicate mainly by email or phone, you feel quite detached from each other and it can be harder to build a good working relationship. That doesn’t mean that you can never create a coherent team, you’ll just have to work at it a little more. When the team does meet in person, you need to put a bit more effort into getting to know one another.

Not being able to monitor your employees as much is another concern that people have about virtual offices. Monitoring their workload isn’t too much of an issue because they will have tangible results to show you but when it comes to their well being, it’s harder to know what’s going on. If your employees aren’t happy, then productivity will drop drastically so it’s important that they’re happy. It’s best to check in from time to time to ensure that they don’t have any major problems that are affecting their work.

So, those are the pros and cons of a virtual office. If it seems like something that might work for your business and you’re going to set one up for yourself, make sure that you remember these things.

Use Video Calling

 

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Face to face contact is important when you’re trying to build a relationship with somebody. So many virtual teams make the mistake of communicating solely by email but this is not effective. Not only can it be inefficient because you have to wait a while for a response, it also takes the human element out of those interactions. Video calling isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s much better than emailing. You can put a face to a name and get to know each other a little better. While it isn’t as good as meeting in person, it’s as close as you can get.

Establish Clear Responsibilities

In a traditional office, everybody’s roles are fairly clear cut. If you want to know who is handling a certain part of a project, you can just ask. However, when you’re part of a virtual team, you won’t have everybody on hand. You also don’t know how other employees are dividing up their own workloads. That means that sometimes people are unclear about who is doing what and that can seriously affect efficiency. That is why it’s so important to set out clear cut responsibilities at the beginning of a new project. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dealing with disputes between employees about who was responsible for what.

Choose Employees Carefully

Although a lot of the concerns that people have about remote worker’s motivation are unfounded, that doesn’t mean that everybody thrives as part of a virtual team. Some people will have trouble motivating themselves outside of a rigid office environment. When you’re interviewing employees, you should obviously consider their qualifications first, but their personality is incredibly important. You need to be looking at the tell-tale signs that indicate whether they’re motivated or not. If you employ somebody that can’t keep themselves motivated properly, then they’ll be a weak link in the team and efficiency will be affected. This is an even bigger problem in a virtual team because you might not realize that there is a problem until further down the line.

Keep People In The Loop

One of the biggest downsides of a virtual team is that people don’t always feel like they’re really part of the company. In a normal office, everybody is aware of new hires and other company developments, but virtual employees won’t always know about these things. Putting together a monthly newsletter that keeps people up to date with all of these developments makes them feel more a part of the team which creates more loyalty to the company and in turn encourages them to be more motivated.

Make Time To Meet

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This is the most important thing for any virtual team. Although new technology means that communicating remotely is easier than ever, there are still some things that need to be discussed in person. Important decisions about the direction of the company should always be decided at meetings. Another thing to consider is the safety of information. When you’re communicating online, there is always the chance of a security breach. With this in mind, you should always keep discussions about sensitive information in person where possible so you reduce the risk of any security issues.

The virtual office is set to be the future of the workplace so start setting up yours now and stay ahead of the curve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Smartphones Are Best Suited For Busy Women?

There are many different smartphone models available on the market today. The issue is that most of us can’t tell them apart, and so we never end up with the most suitable design. With that in mind, this post will offer some advice on the top three smartphones for busy women. Maybe a mother with lots of children just needs something to keep updated with her friends? Perhaps those who work in an office just want a product that will make their life easier? Well, at least one of the suggestions below is going to be perfect. So, read the information and make the right choice.

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iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 only reached the market recently, but it’s become an incredibly popular choice for business women and stay at home moms alike. It’s got a sleek and sophisticated design, but the product is also durable. Indeed, with a scratch-resistant screen, it’s no wonder people opt for this model. There is also advanced security that should combat incidences of hacking. The only real issue is the price. iPhone 7s cost around £540 in the UK at the moment, and that’s a bit too expensive for most people. However, there are some ways to get a better deal. With a Zaggor free gift, it’s possible to lower the price of a contract. That is because people get a PlayStation 4 or something similar, and that’s worth money.

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iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 is by far the best selling model listed on this page. It’s been available for quite a while, and most people will have used one in the past. The best thing about the iPhone 6 is that it’s built like a tank. Many people drop them on the floor all the time without any hassle. If they have the right type of case, it’s difficult to cause accidental damage to the screen. Alos, anyone can buy a brand new iPhone 6 for around £200 these days. So, it’s less than half the price of the newer model, and it performs in much the same way.

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Samsung Galaxy S8

Apple isn’t the only decent smartphone manufacturer out there today. It seems Samsung is making headway in the market at the moment with their S8 model. Some advantages of the S8 include:

 

  • Fantastic design
  • Excellent display
  • Top-notch hardware spec
  • 12 mp camera
  • Water resistant

 

However, many reviewers claim there are also some downsides to investing in the Samsung model. For instance, the battery life isn’t as impressive as it could be. That might become an issue for busy ladies who don’t have time to charge their phones three times every day. There are also some problems relating to the fingerprint reader. Still, overall, it’s an excellent piece of kit.

The three smartphones outlined on this page are by far the most popular devices around at the moment. Busy women should probably take a look at each of those models before looking elsewhere this summer. Invest in a brand like Apple or Samsung, and there’s a good chance the phone will remain in working order for many years. Enjoy!

 

 

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