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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Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

A lot has been made about the newly-remote workforce that has been doing their best during the COVID-19 pandemic. One issue that many ignore is burnout. Sure, it happens in the office too, but there is something unsettling about getting up and going to work walking distance from your bed. Today, we will take a look at at-home worker burnout and give you a few tips to help you keep from suffering the same fate. 

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Remote Work Has Been Around for Longer than You’d Think

Remote Work Has Been Around for Longer than You’d Think

A lot of people aren’t aware that working from home is not a recent innovation. It can arguably be traced back over a million and a half years, when our ancestors would work relatively close to their dwelling places. Throughout our history, work has shifted away and back again to the remote methodology. Let’s look back through the years to see the progression of how people worked, based on the technology that was available.

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I Didn’t Realize How Much I Needed This: Color-Coded Chrome Tabs

I Didn’t Realize How Much I Needed This: Color-Coded Chrome Tabs

Google Chrome is rolling out a neat little update for everyone over the next week (it may already be out for some users by the time this posts). It’s a feature that I know I’m personally going to love, and I didn’t even realize how badly I needed it until now.

Let’s take a look!

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Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

A strong email solution can bring a great deal of continuity to a business. If it is mismanaged, however, it can quickly become a major pain point. Today, we thought we would go over a couple of ways that you can use your email platform to boost productivity, rather than waste time with it.

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For Many Businesses, Working From Home Might Stick

For Many Businesses, Working From Home Might Stick

Skipping the commute, wearing comfortable pants, and foregoing everyday office distractions has become the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s very likely that the businesses that do well with a remote workforce might continue to keep operating that way even after we’re all able to see each other again.


Work Can Get Done From Home? Who Would Have Guessed?

Before the pandemic, if you were to ask a hundred small business owners what their biggest turn off was when it comes to allowing their staff to work from home, most would tell you that they didn’t have the confidence that their employees would treat their jobs as seriously. Less work would get done. At home, there are pets, television, video games, children, and a number of other distractions that would seemingly fight for the attention of your employees.

At the office, the business owner and managers can march around and make sure everybody is working hard, right?

It reminds me of a Dilbert strip. The exchange goes something like this:

Dilbert: I’d like to work from home so I can be more productive.
Boss: I can’t manage you as easily when you’re out of the office.
Dilbert: That’s why I’d be more productive.
Boss: But you’d be missing out on all of this.

Granted, every manager has their own management style, and every business has their own needs when it comes to keeping things productive, and there are always going to be employees that buck the trends. Still, a lot of employees around the world right now are suddenly discovering the fact that they are able to be as productive, if not more productive, when working from home.

Much of the office workforce is getting very used to wearing those comfy pants, and it’s going to be strange (and a little disappointing) having to go back to the old ways of doing things. 

Some Businesses Figured This Out Years Ago

Telecommuting isn’t anything new, but experts were pretty sure it was going to take a bit longer to catch on. Many organizations have been offering different flavors of remote employment for a while now. Some might have certain departments or employees working from home all the time, or they might offer flexibility to have people work from home a few days every week.

Either way, these organizations are using it as both a perk for prospective employees, and as a way to cut down on costs. It’s not cheap to keep and maintain a working area for employees. Keeping the lights on, the A.C. running, and maintaining a cubicle and workstation adds up.

Look at your office space. Add up the rent/lease costs, utilities, and the snack budget. It’s a big chunk of money. Imagine reducing that down to almost nothing - moving your IT to the cloud, finding a shared space for meetings and interviews (if needed), and ditching the expensive office space might look pretty attractive once you discover you don’t really need it.

Whether You Go Back or Stay Remote, We Can Help

The Connection, Inc has worked with a lot of businesses during this pandemic to help get them set up to allow their workforce to be productive from home. We can help your business implement new technologies to make it easier for your staff to collaborate and work from home (or anywhere) for the long term.

Whether you need immediate help or you are looking to plan out strategies to keep things running smoothly for the long run, give us a call at (732) 291-5938 to discuss all the options.

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How to (And How Not to) Approach Remote Work

How to (And How Not to) Approach Remote Work

Many businesses are currently finding the best course of action for them to take right now for the good of their employees is to adopt remote work policies. However, this puts a lot of responsibility on the employees to conduct themselves appropriately and spend the time they should be working diligently.

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Tip of the Week: Pandemic Problems

Tip of the Week: Pandemic Problems

Now months into the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders are still in place causing most financial analysts to suggest that the economies we depend on might not look the same when business returns. Let’s outline a couple of tips that will help get your business through this terrible situation.

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How to Achieve Productivity while Working Remotely

How to Achieve Productivity while Working Remotely

Productivity is a concept that has long been viewed as the gold standard in businesses. However, with so many businesses currently transferring to remote operations in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be challenging for all involved to work as productively as they would while in the office. On the other side of the coin, the right behaviors can make it quite effective. 


Let’s review a few suggestions that can help you ensure that your workforce is ready to work remotely. 

Communication is Even More Important

Unless your employees are completely self-sufficient in their responsibilities (which is incredibly unlikely), they are going to need to interact with their co-workers, as well as numerous contacts outside of the organization. This need doesn’t just go away once they happen to be working from home, either.

As a result, it is crucial that there are open lines of communication between and amongst your team members, and that they are used extensively--almost excessively.

Why is that? Simply put, to make up for the vast amount of in-person communication that you lose during this period. With your team surrounding you, it is much easier to share ideas and collaborate. When working remotely, it isn’t so convenient to do so, passing up great opportunities.

Therefore, it is only more important that you reinforce good communication habits, to the point that they become an integral part of the daily workflow. Make sure your team knows what options are available to them, in terms of communication, and that they are using them as often as needed.

Flexibility is a Benefit

Of course, not every employee works the same way. Some may find that different schedules are more effective than others, something that the office environment may not always allow. When your team is working from home, however, they can enjoy a greater opportunity to shift their schedule to meet their own productivity patterns. As long as the job gets done, right?

This can even assist employees when they have other obligations to fulfill. If someone in your office has a dentist appointment, instead of taking time off and ultimately costing the both of you (them in missed wages, and you in productivity), this employee could instead work from home before and after their appointment to make up the time that would otherwise be missed. Everybody wins!

Make sure that your team is aware of more than just the potential to sit in their pajamas all day, that remote working can be used to improve their work/life balance and allow them to prevent any consequences derived from missing time in the office.

Boundaries Matter

One of the biggest hurdles many organizations have had to overcome if they are serious about implementing remote work is the idea that it is too easy for an employee to become distracted when they aren’t in the office. Make sure that your employees remember how anything can seem preferable to the task they want to do--including household chores--but also that this phenomenon can just as easily happen in the office. The presence of family members can also contribute to some pretty significant distractions (most everyone has seen the BCC interview with Professor Robert Kelly where his young children barged in and stole the show), but also has the potential to help keep you accountable (“Shouldn’t you be working?”). Encourage your employees to recruit their family members to do the latter.

Productivity is possible from anywhere, as long as you have the tools and strategies in place to enable it. Even with the coronavirus already active, The Connection, Inc can help you put these resources into action for your company. To learn more, reach out to our team by calling (732) 291-5938.

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Working from Home Isn’t Without Significant Cybersecurity Risks

Working from Home Isn’t Without Significant Cybersecurity Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted daily life, restricting people to their homes and preventing them from going into the office to work. In response, many companies are hurriedly changing over to a remote-capable workforce and having their employees work from home. This strategy can be highly effective, but if a company and its team isn’t careful, it can also be risky.


Why This Matters Now

Many businesses have had no choice but to shut down as “non-essential” businesses are closed. While the definition of an “essential” business varies from place to place, the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have provided some general guidelines describing what kind of services should be seen as essential.

This list includes many businesses who could conceivably operate on a remote basis, if they had the internal capabilities. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the most secure option. Let’s review why working from home can be less secure than working in the office, and what you can do to help minimize these effects.

Security Threats for Remote Workers

As you would expect, there are a lot of factors that can serve as a detriment to remote work’s inherent security. This is exacerbated by the fact that there is currently a global health disaster that cybercriminals can use to their advantage:

  • The security implemented into the business’ network is no longer protecting the employees and their devices.
  • Employees may have more lax security habits when not in the workplace.
  • Cybercriminals can shape their attacks and scams to be more convincing in the current climate.
  • Many businesses haven’t prepared for this eventuality, and so are lacking the remote strategies that would keep their employees secure.

Therefore, cybercriminals have the opportunity to use many of their favorite tactics to their advantage. Researchers and cybersecurity professionals have seen an uptick in ransomware attacks, remote access tools, and trojans, thanks to cybercriminals using COVID-19 as bait during their phishing attacks by playing off the stress that the coronavirus is causing in many people. It doesn’t help that many remote workers will check their personal emails alongside their professional ones, adding to the chances of a successful attack via their email. Others will pose as the hiring organization itself to swindle remote employees.

To be fair, attackers are also seeing more success in targeting businesses directly, while security is put on the back burner as they focus on their COVID-19 preparedness.

As we mentioned earlier, businesses are also generally ill-prepared for this kind of event, especially those who operate in industries that aren’t commonly associated with remote operations, and whose systems are often outdated and poorly maintained, and/or proprietary in nature and not conducive to remote capabilities. Industries that face particular regulations and certification requirements have another hurdle to clear.

What Can Be Done?

While it is unfortunately going to be a reactive response at this point instead of a proactive measure, businesses can adopt certain solutions that will assist them in securing their remote workers from attack.

  • Cloud Solutions - Utilizing the cloud, rather than requiring users to remote into an at-work solution, can prevent an external access point from being created that leads into your network. Simpler to use than remote access and inherently secure, a cloud solution is ideal for remote working. With the opportunity to host software, store data, or some combination of the two, the cloud can enable many of your employees to work completely independently of your network.

  • Company Issued Eequipment - With a company-issued device, it becomes a lot easier to ensure that your team has the security solutions and updates you need them to have. While this will require some investment into mobile devices that support your needs, this is a measure with lasting influence on your overall security and productivity.

  • Employee Training and Education - Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your employees need to understand that their responsibility for the cybersecurity of the company at large carries over as they are working remotely. Teaching them how crucial security updates are, how to spot phishing attacks, and other preventative measures will make a huge difference.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may be providing businesses with the motivation to put these measures into place now, these measures and other recommended best practices should always be followed. The Connection, Inc can help you put them into place whether you’re an essential business or not. Give us a call at (732) 291-5938 to learn more. 

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Tip of the Week: Remote Productivity Tips

Tip of the Week: Remote Productivity Tips

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many businesses to enact a work-from-home policy. With so many people working from home, we thought it would be a good idea to write up some simple tips to follow to give yourself the best chance of being productive. 


Establish Your Workspace

The very first thing you need to do is set aside a workspace. It's hard to focus on your job if you are on a laptop in the living room in front of your entertainment center, or if the only place you have is your bedroom. One of the most distracting elements of being home are the modern comforts you’ve outfitted the place with. Find a place where you can be productive and use it.

Don’t Burnout

There is the tendency for workers that normally work in an office, but are forced to work from home, to overdo it. The theory is that most people would love the flexibility to work from home on occasion and when they get the opportunity, they spend more time than they should working. This can have negative effects on both their ability to focus and on the business’ payroll. If you are home working, work as you would at the office and walk away when it’s time.

If You Are Going Casual, Don’t Go TOO Casual

As a part of your normal work routine, you probably need to wash yourself and get dressed. At the very least you need to put on pants. When working from home, many people neglect to do that and it actually has an effect on their work. As a part of your pre-work routine you should wash up and dress yourself as if you were going to the office. You’ll feel, and likely perform better.

2. Encourage Co-working

Make Collaboration the Standard

With collaboration fueling a lot of businesses, when people work from home it is essential that there is solid communication going on. This will ensure that people are working on the things they need to, they are on the same page, and that they have an outlet from being stuck inside their house for days (or weeks) on end.

Stay Connected and Communicate Constantly

Following the same line of thought, to avoid falling into a non-productive routine, you should reach out to people in your company to gain some perspective on what they are working on. The more knowledge you can gain about your contemporaries’ priorities, the better you can be at filling in the gaps.

3. Commit to Working Productively

Schedule to Your Advantage

Working from home brings some additional flexibility. You may be expected to work your normal business hours, but if you find yourself falling into some bad habits or being complacent in the middle of the work day, figure out the times that you work most effectively. If you aren’t on the same schedule, you’ll likely get more done when you feel like working than working when you are distracted.

Don’t Get Distracted

Speaking of distractions, your home is filled with them. Sometimes it’s hard to make the transition to working in the main place you go to relax. There are all types of distractions from family to media to simple household chores. Commit to work when you work and you will find that you will likely get more done in that time than any time you spend at your office. 

For more great tips and tricks, return to our blog each week.

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What You Need to Know to Manage a Remote Workforce

What You Need to Know to Manage a Remote Workforce

There are many reasons that your team may want (or need) to work from home, and there are many reasons to allow them to do so. A 2019 survey by OwlLabs indicated that 71 percent of remote workers are happy with their job (as compared to 55 percent of on-site workers); remote workers responded that they are 13   percent more likely than onsite workers to stay in their current job for five more years than onsite workers will; and when respondents claimed to be working longer than 40 hours per week, onsite workers were doing so out of necessity, while remote workers did so out of desire and enjoyment.

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The Employee’s Guide to Working Remotely

The Employee’s Guide to Working Remotely

It’s not uncommon where a situation arises and you will find yourself working from home. To make this work, it is important that you keep a few additional issues in mind so that you can make the most of it. We have put together a few simple best practices that you should keep in mind as you operate remotely.

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A Bit of Fun Can Get Work Done Faster

A Bit of Fun Can Get Work Done Faster

When you want your workforce to operate more productively, and engagement has been shown to have positive effects on productivity, it makes sense that you would want to actively promote activities that have been shown to improve engagement. One approach that many companies and organizations are now embracing is gamification. Let’s discuss the concept of gamification, and how it might benefit your business.


For starters, it may help to get some more context into what gamification is, exactly.

Understanding Workplace Gamification

At its core, gamification is the philosophy of making rote processes and tasks more engaging by taking the components that make games fun and integrating them into these tasks and processes. In theory, this will result in a more content workforce, and a more successful business, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support how effective this approach can be.

For just one example, one only has to turn to the many different educational applications and computer software titles available today. Concealed behind a fun story and the colorful characters driving the plot, the game’s mechanics actively encourage learning by requiring the young player to complete activities designed to improve their skills in mathematics and grammar. In this way, the learning process becomes more fun, motivating the children playing the game to continue doing so.

The same approach can be found in many applications aimed towards adults--specifically, adults in the workplace.

Gamifying the Workplace

One of the best things about workplace gamification is how easily it can be applied to someone’s processes at any level. For example:

  • Training processes can be gamified by using learning portals that introduce new recruits and veterans alike to basic workplace requirements and procedures.
  • Gamified achievements and rewards can be given to employees for accomplishing more and sticking to set procedures.
  • In the game format, feedback and contextual correction can be given live, allowing your employees to experience real-time training benefits.

Of course, we also have to discuss the benefit to the well-being of your employees that gamification can bring. Many companies have elected to gamify the health status of their employees over their daily tasks. This has helped to fight the impacts that a sedentary job has been shown to have on an employee’s health. With healthier employees, companies also see decreased absenteeism, as sick days become less frequently needed.

Finally, gamification is hugely beneficial to team building. Look at how popular eSports have become amongst companies, with coworkers forming teams to play together as a group. Sure, this makes them a more cohesive and communicative team, but the real benefit comes from the engagement your team will feel as a result of these games. Ideally, it is an employee who is left to organize and manage these activities, making the results much more organic.

While eSports are a little out of our professional wheelhouse, we can assist your company’s productivity with numerous IT solutions and other strategies! To find out more about what we can do for you, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Tip of the Week: How to Work on Your Smartphone

Tip of the Week: How to Work on Your Smartphone

Think about how happy you are when you first get your new phone. If you are like most of us you can’t keep your hands off of it. You try all the new features out and mutter to yourself, “wow, this is so cool”. The enthusiasm that people have for their new mobile devices can be a major benefit for the company they work for, too. Today, we are going to discuss how, with all the features and powerful computing power, you can work effectively on your smartphone.


Select the Right Apps

The main benefit of a mobile device, beyond the mobility, is that the software that runs on the machine is already in one, easy-to-use, place. Every smartphone runs off of mobile apps, that you can find on the mobile app store provided by the operating system. For Android apps, there is the Google Play Store, and for iOS apps, there is the Apple App Store. Any type of productivity software you may need can be downloaded for free from those stores. 

To use your smartphone as a productivity tool you will want to eliminate most of the distractions. 

Apps, while being essential for mobile device productivity, can also present monumental distractions. The app store itself can be a distraction as you can literally spend hours scrolling through apps looking for the right one for you. You will want to eliminate a lot of the apps that could cause you distractions and prioritize apps that will assist your productivity. 

Once you have the apps downloaded, you will then want to arrange the apps on the device in a manner that makes it simple for you to navigate to the apps that you need. For example, you can group communications apps together to keep them in one place rather than have them strewn about the device. 

Disable Certain Notifications

While there are notifications that can be very useful, they can also be the most distracting. By turning off notifications to apps that may not have any value, you can really eliminate one potential distraction. Since focus on a task is essential to produce the best results, you can really do without that Facebook notification telling you four people you barely know have a birthday today.

Update Software Regularly

Apps are software. Like the software on your PC, your apps need to be updated and patched regularly as to avoid serious security and privacy concerns. Moreover, mobile app updates often come with useful new features. These updates are usually handled automatically, but it’s good practice to check to make sure that your apps are up-to-date and secure. 

For more great tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your technology, subscribe to our blog today.

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Google Adding Features to the G Suite

Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.


Search Chips in Gmail

All G Suite subscribers will soon see improved search capabilities within Gmail, as Google’s developers have added an extra feature to help narrow down search results. Once a search is performed within Gmail, contextual options will appear below the search field.

For instance, let’s say you were looking for a specific email from your colleague Brian. Simply searching for “Brian” would bring up a mess of messages, chats, updates, and invites. Search Chips allows you to narrow your search by various filters without manually typing them. So, if you knew that the message from Brian you were looking for had a PDF attached, you can search for emails from Brian with PDFs attached.

Again, while this feature is currently exclusive to the G Suite, all Gmail accounts will soon have this capability built in.

Expanded Out of Office Notifications

Are you planning on being out of the office for an extended amount of time? Google is adding a feature that allows you to present this information in more context to your contacts who have access to your Google calendar. Suppose you have a vacation scheduled in your Google calendar. If Brian wanted to get in touch with you during that time, he would see that you were gone and when to expect you back.

Google Docs Autocorrect and Smart Compose

Google Docs (at least, the online version) is being augmented with the ability to automatically correct a user’s errors as they type – something many users will likely find to be a welcome addition. This feature is slated to be released to select G Suite subscription types. Likewise, select G Suite subscriptions may have noticed Smart Compose predictions appearing in their Google Docs as of late.

Admin Console Improvements

Administrators should be happy to see the assorted improvements that have been made to their Admin consoles, and we’re talking about more than the aesthetic changes. The entire interface’s integration has been improved, with more context provided in the options.

Context Aware Access in G Suite

There are just some things that different levels in an organization need and don’t need, respectively, which means that certain users shouldn’t be able to access certain things.  While admins were once only able to differentiate access control through organizational units, you can now control access via a user’s identity and the context that is inferred by a request. This means more granular control over your data, and by extension, more secure data. However, to use this feature, you have to be a G Suite user of Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, Cloud Identity Premium, or Drive Enterprise.

Which of these additions do you find the most promising? Do you wish any were more widely available? Let us know in the comments!

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Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.

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A Brief Look at Virtual Assistants

A Brief Look at Virtual Assistants

There is no doubt that you have come across the virtual assistant (or voice assistant). Whether you have it on a smartphone or you use it via a digital speaker in your home, you have probably spent some time using some type of virtual assistant. 

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Tip of the Week: An Intro to Windows 10’s Built-In Virtual Desktops

Tip of the Week: An Intro to Windows 10’s Built-In Virtual Desktops

On a Windows machine, look at your taskbar, near the Start button and the search function. The next little icon, the one that almost looks like a bit of film, is the Task View button, the button that (among other purposes) allows you to create and manage virtual desktops. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use this handy feature, starting with why you might want to.


What is a Virtual Desktop?

To be completely clear, this blog is referring to a very specific type of virtual desktop, which is important to state right off the bat.

Oftentimes, when we refer to “virtual desktops,” we are talking about a computing environment that is hosted in the cloud, which can be accessed from almost any device, from anywhere. Think of it like a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution, but instead of just your phone, it’s the whole computer.

Here, we’re talking about a slightly different version of that concept. Windows 10 allows its users to have multiple instances, or sessions, of Windows 10 running at the same time, via the built-in Virtual Desktop function. This has many potential uses in a business, most notably, aiding in organization while keeping different tasks and their accompanying resources separated from your other tasks and their resources. Listen to music on a streaming service while at work? Free up some valuable desktop space by accessing the service in a secondary, virtual one. Or maybe you’re a compulsive email checker - knowing that you have it open in another desktop may be enough to keep you from becoming tempted. It really is up to you to figure out how they are most useful to you.

In fairness, it really would be more accurate to call this feature “Virtual Monitor,” because it works more like adding an additional monitor setup than virtualizing a desktop... but we aren’t in charge of that kind of thing.

Working with Windows 10’s Virtual Desktops

Click on the Task View button. If your Task View button is missing, right-clicking the taskbar and selecting Show Task View button will fix that.

Alternatively, you can also open Task View by pressing Windows Key + Tab

This will bring you to the Task View. On the bottom right, there will be a New Desktop button, which you can click to create a new, virtual desktop in addition to your original desktop. There are a few easy ways to switch back and forth between them - you can select the desktop to view from the Task View screen, use a four-fingered swiping gesture on certain touchpads and touchscreens, or a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Windows Key + Left/Right Arrow.

To use your programs and applications in your virtual desktops, open them as you normally would. While many apps will allow an instance in each desktop, others will pull you to the desktop that has the application running. Closing one of your virtual desktops will also cause any apps open in it to jump as well.

How do you anticipate using these virtualized desktops in your day-to-day, if at all? Let us know in the comments!

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Your Business Processes Are Everything

Your Business Processes Are Everything

The word “procedure” can easily be perceived in a negative light nowadays. It just sounds so… rote… compared to the exciting and dynamic buzzwords that so many “thought-leading, influencing, social media innovators” today toss around. Now, we don’t mean to disparage these personalities - we just want to emphasize that these innovations rely on a foundation to support them, and these foundations are based on business procedures and processes.


Let’s look at why even the most innovative businesses depend on their procedures to operate - and how a procedure can be properly created as well.

Why Processes and Procedures Matter to Businesses

If you were to list the most important qualities that a business should have, would your list include consistency? It really should. After all, if Client A, B, and C each paid for the same service, doesn’t it stand to reason that all three of them receive the same quality of service? Consistency can go a long way to support your client retention, your productivity, and any of a variety of other internal and external business considerations. Therefore, it only makes sense that establishing processes will work to your business’ benefit. 

There are a variety of ways that they can do so, for that matter. For instance, they can…

  • Help improve your business’ efficiency
  • Optimize internal and external communications
  • Minimize confusion in your operations
  • Secure accountability in your workflows
  • As mentioned above, better ensure consistency in outcomes

… so it only makes sense to invest the time it will take to standardize how your business completes certain tasks. Consider, for a moment, the modern fast food franchise.

Slight cost and menu changes aside, going to a fast food restaurant on one side of the country should be effectively identical to going to one on the other side. This is largely because there are essential processes that take place in the kitchens.

The moment a server starts to put together an order with a customer at the front counter, a screen in the back shows the order being constructed. This allows the team in the back to start putting it together, keeping the communications between the front and back teams effectively seamless. Each person back there has their own task - whether it is to cook the meat, start building the sandwiches, or finish them and send them to the front.

As a result, it isn’t unheard of for a finished sandwich to reach the customer less than a minute after they have placed their order - in fact, that’s the goal - and that is exactly how they expect it to be.

Now, while your business almost certainly has very different goals and services than a chain burger joint, there is no reason that you can’t experience similar benefits to your operations by implementing standardized procedures as well.

What Makes a Good Process

Now, this may feel like we’re getting a little into the weeds here, but not all processes are necessarily created equally. To make sure that your process is worth the time spent to formalize it, it should feature four qualities:

  • It can be repeated - There isn’t much use in a process that only applies to a specific scenario or can’t hypothetically be repeated indefinitely. A good process can apply to a variety of circumstances, and be used more than once

  • It contributes value - Any process you design should have a purpose to each step… there should never be any “busy work” involved in one of the included tasks.

  • It has a clear beginning and an end - Every process you develop should have a defined starting point, where something signifies that the procedure should commence, as well as a conclusion, where no further action needs to be taken. Each step between these points also needs to be easy to differentiate from the others.

  • The process can evolve - Of course, you aren’t going to (or at least, shouldn’t) continue using the same tools and solutions indefinitely, which will at some point impact these processes. Your processes should be able to accept these impacts without your clients seeing any ill effects.

Use Automation to Power Your Processes

If there is any issue that every business is subject to, it’s human error. Regardless of how perfect and refined your procedures are, there is always the risk that the end user will miss a step - like when the fast food worker forgets to put the pickle on your sandwich.

In your business, however, the consequences are probably a little greater than a missing crunch.

That’s why many businesses have embraced the use of automation to enhance their business processes. Not only does automation bring about the benefits we discussed above - the improved efficiency and accountability - it also helps you avoid human error at key points in your processes. Additionally, it frees up your employees to accomplish other things, perhaps related to that same process.

There are many different solutions designed to help with different tasks, and they can all play a role in your automated processes. The Connection, Inc is here to help you determine what is best for your business’ efficiency.

To learn more about how we can help you automate some of your processes, or about the other benefits that we can provide for your organization, give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730