The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Have Businesses and Their Technology Been Impacted by COVID-19?

How Have Businesses and Their Technology Been Impacted by COVID-19?

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has had no small impact on the way that business is conducted. A considerable part of that impact is directed toward the technology that powers these businesses. One way or another, the way that businesses use their technology is bound to be influenced before all this is over.

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Tip of the Week: How to Write an Email that Will Actually Get Replied To

Tip of the Week: How to Write an Email that Will Actually Get Replied To

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re watching your inbox, waiting for a response that probably isn’t coming? This is a problem that’s all too common, and it’s because the average business owner could very well be stymieing their own progress by sending emails that are too long, too wordy, or even too brief. A study by Boomerang suggests that there are four ways to make emails more viewer-friendly.

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Tip of the Week: 6 Tips to Becoming a Morning Person

Tip of the Week: 6 Tips to Becoming a Morning Person

If you’ve ever tried to wake up before 6:00am, you know how difficult it can be. Crawling out of bed can be pure torture, and the thought of working for another eight, ten, or even twelve hours can be soul-crushing. Despite how difficult it can be to wake up, getting out of bed early and starting your day on a positive note can set the tone for your entire workday. Here are six ways that you can make your mornings less painful and build a productive routine.


It’s important to remember that, just like starting any new routine, waking up earlier is going to take its toll and seem extremely difficult at first. If you can stick with it long enough to build a habit out of it, you can change the way you view waking up in the morning.

Wake Yourself Up with an Upbeat Alarm
Chances are that if you don’t have kids, you’re probably using an alarm clock to ensure that you wake up in time to get ready for work. You can make it easier to wake up by using a song that will make you want to get up and out of bed as soon as possible. Whether you’re a heavy metal nut or if you just like a funky tune, use something that’s loud and will help prepare you to start your day.

Keep Your Phone Out of Arm’s Reach
Most people sleep with their smartphones charging right next to their bedside. This makes it extraordinarily tempting to just hit the snooze button rather than wake up, especially if you have nowhere to be for a few hours. If you have your phone on, say, the other side of the room, you’ll be forced to get up in order to turn off the alarm. Once you’re out of bed, you might as well stay up and try to get something done.

Keep a Glass of Water Handy
After spending so many hours without water, your body will likely need something to ingest in order to function properly. By keeping a glass of water close to your bedside, you’ll have one of the most crucial elements of life itself on-hand to start the day with.

Get Some Exercise and Fresh Air
While the water might be helpful, it’s far from enough to get you to the point where you can work on anything important. You need to get your body moving, if only a little bit, if you want to feel fully awake and alert in time to get quality work done. Take a walk around the block, or go for a short morning jog. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you get your blood pumping.

Get Something Done
Here we are; the one thing that you’ve been trying to get to all morning. One of the best ways to ensure that you get work done in the morning is to do something that’s not necessarily important, but rather, you should do something that you care about the most. If you’re waking up to something that you want to do, you’re more likely to actually get out of bed and do it. For example, maybe you’re hooked on a TV series, but you’re just too tired to watch television when you get home. Try waking up to watch an episode while you eat your breakfast, then move on to other, more important tasks.

Eat Some Breakfast
Whether or not you eat breakfast in the morning can be a major factor for your mood and health throughout the day. In order to feel your best and get the most work done, you should eat some breakfast, be it a simple bowl of cereal or steak and eggs. Ideally, you want something that’s quick and easy to prepare.

What are some of your favorite ways to start the day the right way? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more great tips and tricks.

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Engage Your Workforce to Increase Happiness, Work Satisfaction, and Productivity

Engage Your Workforce to Increase Happiness, Work Satisfaction, and Productivity

Business owners need to understand that employee engagement is just as important a part of running an organization, as keeping operations running at optimal efficiency. After all, your employees are the ones responsible for keeping everything moving forward, and if they’re not happy and fulfilled, it can affect the quality of your end product or service. A new study finds that even businesses that have good intentions about employee engagement have trouble guaranteeing that their efforts are effective.


A study by Gallup found that employee engagement in the workplace hasn’t increased in quite some time. In the United States, about 32 percent of employees can be considered “engaged” in their work. This identifier, engaged, is defined as someone who isn’t just content with their job, but rather those who are “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” While these may be the type of employees that every business wants, they’re the ones that few employers manage to find.

This isn’t a problem with just United States employees, either. Only about 13 percent of the world’s workforce is considered to be engaged in their work, which makes this a major issue that cannot be ignored; particularly because it could be holding your business back from reaching its maximum potential.

One of the main reasons why employees continue to remain disengaged and dissatisfied in the workplace is that employers seem to be more concerned with the metrics behind engagement, rather than actually improving it. With survey tools available for most any business, it’s simple for companies to begin discovering what their employees really think about working for them. Yet, if you don’t use this data for anything, you can’t improve their opinions. This is like collecting data, and then not using it for anything at all, or holding a meeting to discuss a problem, only to never actually resolve the issue.

Below are four ways that your business can improve employee engagement and increase satisfaction:

  • Provide them the tools to succeed: If your employees are frustrated about their working conditions, it might just be that you haven’t given them what they need to do their jobs properly. For example, an employee might be flustered and stressed out because their workstation is on the fritz, and IT hasn’t done anything to fix it yet.
  • Understand what your employees expect: You may have hired your employees because of their unique qualifications, but you should also consider why the employee wants to work for you in the first place. It’s also important to realize that your employees have lives outside of the office, and that they may have goals that are completely unrelated to your business. If you want to get the most out of your employees, show them how you can help them achieve their own personal goals.
  • Invest in your employees’ future: If your employees don’t see themselves working for you for an extended period of time, they will leave and find a position somewhere else that better accommodates their future needs. This includes providing them with benefits like health insurance, a retirement plan, and potential for advancement or professional development. These measures can show your employees that you appreciate their hard work, and that you want to see them stick around.
  • Provide regular employee evaluations: Your employees want to know if they’re doing a good job, and how they can improve themselves. If you can take the time to provide good, quality feedback to them, you can show your employees that you want to help them improve their performance, and advance further in the company.

Does your business have a problem keeping your employees engaged? One way you can help is by guaranteeing that they have technology solutions that work for them. In most cases, SMBs have trouble managing technology, but outsourced IT solutions from The Connection, Inc can be a valuable remedy. To learn more, give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Get Rest and Avoid Burnout

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Get Rest and Avoid Burnout

Let’s be honest; when was the last time you seriously went out of your way to take a day off from work? The corporate business environment often leads both business owners and normal office workers to overindulge themselves in their work. Plus, the mobile-first business model isn’t making it any easier to take time off, as you’re connected to the office no matter what. However, science is proving that it’s not just beneficial, but practically necessary, to take time off on occasion.

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Professional Football Teams Use Virtual Reality to Prepare for the Season

Professional Football Teams Use Virtual Reality to Prepare for the Season

Football season is upon us, and the National Football League is filled to the brim with teams that want to make this year the one in which they win it all. In order to get the competitive edge, many teams are turning to virtual reality training, which has proven to be quite effective in preparation for on-the-field practice.

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Tip of the Week: Stop Micromanaging and Improve Employee Focus and Collaboration

Tip of the Week: Stop Micromanaging and Improve Employee Focus and Collaboration

With the opportunity to track metrics becoming more readily available for all types of businesses, some organizations invest heavily into time-tracking software and other KPIs that they believe will help their team be more efficient in the workplace. However, this might be having a negative effect on the quality of work being performed. Irv Shapiro, CEO of DialogTech, suggests that, instead of tracking time, employers should be tracking results.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Best Practices for Traveling With Technology

Tip of the Week: 5 Best Practices for Traveling With Technology

Do you find yourself traveling for your business? Be it for a conference, a series of meetings that require your attendance, or some other reason, you may very likely need to spend some time on the road; time that could be spent on tasks your business needs to function. Despite the lack of a traditional workspace, this time spent traveling doesn’t necessarily need to be time wasted. Thanks to the technology of today, you have the ability to remain productive while mobile.

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Boost Productivity With These 3 Automation Apps

Boost Productivity With These 3 Automation Apps

Today’s fast-paced work environment demands multitasking and juggling various projects at once. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great technologies designed to make workloads more manageable. If you’ve not yet looked into utilizing automation apps for your business, you may be surprised to learn how they can improve efficiency.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Odd Productivity Tips from Successful People

Tip of the Week: 4 Odd Productivity Tips from Successful People

Having a workflow that works for you is the key to being successful. Sometimes, finding such a routine requires taking some rather extraordinary measures. If you’re looking for ways to tweak your workflow to be more productive, then consider these outside-the-box productivity tips from some of history’s very successful people.


Work Allegro - Ludwig van Beethoven
There are those who rely on a cup or two of coffee each day in order to be productive, and then there’s Beethoven. History records that the famous composer required his morning cup of coffee to consist of 60 beans. Suffice to say, if you’re able to accomplish work at the pace of 60 coffee beans, you’re going to get a whole lotta work done, and in a very short period of time.

Although, what goes up must come down, so the side effects of such an extreme productivity measure might have actually led to the deterioration of Beethoven’s health. Plus, seeking the aid of drugs to enhance one’s productivity is never recommended. However, a cup of joe here and an energy drink there might be just enough to provide the occasional productivity boost you need to see a project through.

The Freedom of Air Baths - Benjamin Franklin
It turns out that Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of nudity, so much so that he would spend the first hour of his morning reading and writing, whilst in the buff. It’s humorous to picture the founding father naked and at his desk, putting his notes together for what would become the Declaration of Independence, and it’s easy to see the genius of such a move when you consider how much precious time and mental energy is taken up by selecting outfits and putting on clothes. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same sweatshirt every day.

By the way, Benjamin Franklin was also an early proponent of the standing desk--something to think about.

The Case of the Missing Desk - Agatha Christie
Fact: Successful author of beloved mystery novels Agatha Christie never owned a desk. While a deskless workflow today is tangible thanks to mobile devices and cloud computing, keep in mind that Agatha wrote her most famous stories at a time when computers were still a novelty. This means using a pen and paper or borrowing typewriters, and keeping notes and manuscripts stored in some kind of a carriable case.

In your own office, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be workers like Agatha that aren’t necessarily “desk people.” Workers like these may otherwise flourish if given the chance to go mobile. Plus, unlike Agatha Christie’s situation, it’s much easier to go deskless today, thanks to the help of dynamic mobile solutions.

Scary Discipline - Stephen King
Famous author Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” When it comes to his line of work, writing spooky stories, Stephen King is a workhorse, writing 2,000 words every single day. This kind of commitment to his craft is one big reason why he’s able to consistently churn out one hit book after another.

Therefore, ask yourself what 2,000 words per day would look like in your line of work. Is it writing 25 emails each day? Reading one book every week? Making ten sales calls each business day? However you define success, there’s no denying that a consistent and disciplined approach of chipping away at your goal will eventually pay off.

Mobility, consistency, coffee, nudity; do any of these extreme productivity tips sound appealing to you? Does your own workflow include anything out of the ordinary? If so, then share your thoughts (and your secrets) in the comments.

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Study Shows How Reading Novels Can Help Your Business Succeed

Study Shows How Reading Novels Can Help Your Business Succeed

The busy business owner rarely has time to indulge in extracurricular activities, but there are still ways that you can make progress--even when you’re not actually in the office or working on important plans, there’s still the opportunity for self-improvement. One way that you can do this is by being well-read. In fact, science has practically proven that reading literary fiction is just as beneficial for your professional development as other seemingly more practical works.

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The Many Ways Your Business Can Benefit By Having a Productivity Suite

The Many Ways Your Business Can Benefit By Having a Productivity Suite

For the modern business it’s important to have software that is both simple to use and powerful enough to meet your needs. Nowadays, there are cloud-based platforms that come with storage, communication options, and many of the enterprise-level productivity applications that drive your organization’s productivity. Two of these, Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G-Suite bring substantial value and flexibility to the table where there was once only expense.


These platforms are generally referred to as productivity suites. The productivity suite has been around for decades, but today is available through the cloud, and as a service. The productivity suite typically includes a word processor, spreadsheet software, a presentation builder, and an email management solution. Though today’s services tend to offer different service packs that include other pieces of software with the intention that particular users need different applications to be productive.

With that in mind, here are the applications that allow your business to benefit from the modern-day productivity suite:

Word Processor
It’s fairly self-explanatory why being able to write or edit documents is important. With built-in capabilities to create invoices, tax forms, receipts, letters, and so much more, the word processor has been a major part of every productivity suite for decades. In today’s cloud-based software, higher degrees of collaboration between users are supported, giving the information age word processor a valuable business tool. Microsoft Office 365 offers the powerful Word 2016, while Google offers Google Docs.

Email Management
Perhaps one of the most critical parts of running a business is its communications. While many businesses have chosen to host their own email servers in the past, the new productivity suites come with a secure and powerful email solution built in. Today’s email solutions provide a number of options for users to organize themselves as they see fit. Today’s email programs are built with the security and privacy of their users in mind, and have integrated options to adjust the level of security a company needs to stay safe and compliant. Email management isn’t a job to take lightly, and the IT professionals at The Connection, Inc can advise you on how to best set up your email platform to fit the needs of your business. Microsoft Office 365 comes with Outlook, while the G-Suite comes with GMail.

Spreadsheet Builder
There are plenty of uses that spreadsheets have in the business world. Many spreadsheet builders offer integrated features users can take advantage of to build algorithms and formulas that allow you to perform rapid calculations for financial and statistical purposes. Spreadsheets have long been an extremely useful tool for inventory management. Microsoft Office 365 comes with Excel, while the G-Suite delivers Google Sheets.

Slideshow Software
Presentations are great ways to get a point across to an audience. Today’s productivity suites wouldn’t offer the communicative abilities they do without including a slideshow application. For example, try utilizing your productivity suite’s presentation app to get your point across at your next staff meeting. You might be surprised by how well your audience retains information. Microsoft Office 365 has PowerPoint, while the G-Suite offers Google Slides.

Obviously there are multiple other productivity suites available, as well as many different packages available from Microsoft and Google. Call us today at (732) 291-5938 and our knowledgeable professionals will help you find the solution to meet your organization’s needs.

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When Employees Argue, Quality Suffers. Here’s What You Can Do About It

When Employees Argue, Quality Suffers. Here’s What You Can Do About It

When you talk about your employees, you hopefully often refer to them as a department, or a “team.” These terms often come with predetermined assumptions, with one of them being that the employees work together to accomplish something specific. However, it’s often not so simple. If your employees aren’t working together as a team, how can you fix this dilemma?

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Tip of the Week: What Changed With Google Calendar’s Update?

Tip of the Week: What Changed With Google Calendar’s Update?

If you are a dedicated user of Google Calendar, you’ll have realized that it’s recently undergone a significant improvement. Google has pushed out an update that has really polished their calendar in terms of both visual appearance and functionality, which is something that you’ll really appreciate, especially if you are a G Suite user. How can you use this new version of Google Calendar for your business?

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Tip of the Week: How to Reduce the Use of Paper in the Office

Tip of the Week: How to Reduce the Use of Paper in the Office

Paper can be incredibly expensive, especially with the quantity that a normal business goes through every single day. However, not only is it expensive on the monetary side, but also on the environmental side as well. By making some changes around your office, you can be more eco-friendly and budget-friendly by reducing the amount of paper waste your organization suffers from.

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The G Suite Just Got Smarter

The G Suite Just Got Smarter

With the recent overhaul of Google’s G Suite productivity software products comes a new way to keep your business’ data secure. We’ll go over some of the major changes introduced in the updates, including the integration of artificial intelligence.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Employees Off of Distracting Websites

Tip of the Week: Keep Employees Off of Distracting Websites

As incredible a tool as the Internet truly is, for every website that is beneficial to the workplace, there is another that is certainly the opposite. Naturally, it is these sites that your employees would most likely want to visit if left to their own devices. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the temptation and block these websites. For this week’s tip, we’ll talk about a few ways to do so.

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How Technology Could Change the Classroom

How Technology Could Change the Classroom

Children are the future, as the saying goes, so do we really want the future to be taught using tools from the past? While some schools are still using technology that better belongs in the 20th century, others are embracing innovation and teaching in ways that better translate to the “real world.” Let’s take a look at how our evolving technology is transforming the classroom and explore some ways to get it to more students.

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Improving Your Collaboration Can Improve Performance

Improving Your Collaboration Can Improve Performance

With the exception of a sole proprietorship, a business of any size relies on its team in order to function properly. As a result, this team needs to be able to work together towards a common goal in order to succeed. To accomplish this, collaboration technologies are becoming more and more common in office environments, and generally benefit the performance of the business in its operations.

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Can You Use Help with Your Customer Relationships?

Can You Use Help with Your Customer Relationships?

Understanding what your customers need is a crucial first step toward improving the way your organization communicates with them. They expect a certain level of service, so how can you make sure to maintain it while still leveling with them on what they require of your business? A customer relationship management software, or CRM, is invaluable toward this end.

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