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How to make IT in your business more flexible

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we need to be flexible and adjust to a changing environment.  Many people are now working from home and businesses have had to adapt and get employees set up so that they can continue to work and be productive without any issues.

There are some steps that you can take to make the IT in your business more flexible.  Let’s look at these:

Moving to a cloud-based phone system:

Users can take handsets home or use softphone apps on their phones or computers.  Ilkley IT can get set this up for you through one of our partners.

Moving files to a cloud-based system such as SharePoint:

Having your files on a cloud-based system is a secure place to store, organise, share and access information from any device.  It helps you to manage content, knowledge and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information and seamlessly collaborate across the organisation.

It provides enhanced security and removes the need for a VPN. We have written previously about the benefits of using Microsoft SharePoint, read our blog post here.

Using Microsoft Teams for keeping communication going between staff members:

Teams is becoming an integral part of our day-to-day working life, from conference calls, holding team meetings to online collaboration.  It is the perfect platform to use to communicate with colleagues and can really help departments to continue to work effectively.  There are always new features being introduced in Teams, all focused on improving productivity and efficiencies.

Investing in laptops instead of PCs:

Buying laptops rather than PCs provides more flexibility for staff and businesses.  It will allow staff members to easily work from home if they have to. Laptop docks and monitors can still be used when in the office.

Move to Cloud Software:

Many software companies have cloud-based software products, such as CRM (HubSpot or SalesForce) and Accounting and payroll packages (Xero).  Cloud-based products can be accessed at any time from any location, whether you are working remotely or from the office.  Accessing tools in the cloud is very secure and provides a huge amount of flexibility.

Moving away from physical servers completely:

It might be time for you to seriously consider swapping your physical servers for virtual ones in the cloud.  All elements of your server infrastructure can be moved to the cloud.  There are many benefits to using Microsoft 365 Premium, all the products are becoming intrinsically linked to improve efficiency and productivity across your business.

If you have been thinking about making changes in your business and wondering how to make your IT more flexible, then get in touch with Ilkley IT.  Our experienced team can help you every step of the way with all the aspects mentioned and so much more.  We can implement the changes and get you up and running in no time with minimum disruption to you and your team.  We would love to hear from you and learn more about your systems and understand your business needs so we can find the best solution for you.  Get in touch today on 01943 601601.

Using technology to look after your mental wellbeing

With us all back in Lockdown for the next month, it is important now more than ever to protect our mental wellbeing.  2020 has certainly been a year that will not be forgotten any time soon.  It has been a trying time even for the most resilient of people and it is so important, now more than ever, that we take care of ourselves.

In a previous blog post, we talked about using technology to help our productivity and wellbeing, and we touched on a number of apps available to support our mental health.  Let’s take a closer look at the top 7 Best Mental Health Apps of 2020:

Moodfit

This app helps you to understand your mood which is the first step to improving it.  It allows you to set daily goals designed to improve your mood.   There are a number of tools in the app which include positive messages, practicing gratitude, breathing exercises and many more.

MoodMission

This app is designed to empower you to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety by discovering new and better ways of coping.  When you tell MoodMission how you’re feeling, it gives you a tailored list of 5 simple, quick, effective, evidence-based Missions to improve your mood based on scientific research.

Talkspace

This app is an online therapy platform that provides users the confidential support of a licensed therapist through an easy-to-use platform.

Sanvello

This app offers 4 types of support, self-care, peer support, coaching and therapy.  Easily find the strategies and resources you need, and access expert advice day or night. With Sanvello coping tools in your pocket, managing symptoms, and tracking your progress is easy.

Headspace

This is an app which offers guided meditations.  You can download the basic course for free to learn how to meditate and then if you subscribe, you will have access to an enormous number of different mediations on different themes.  Meditation will help to equip you with the tools to overcome the feeling of stress and anxiety so that you can feel calm and in control of your life.

Happify

This app brings you effective tools and programs to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts.  Happify is all about playing games which are science-based activities meant to reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts.

Depression CBT Self-Help Guide

The natural management of depression involves understanding depression and the factors that contribute to the symptoms. Learning to manage stress in your life and engage in self-care behaviours can improve your symptoms and your mood.  This app contains a depression severity test, audios, articles, a cognitive diary, and a motivational points system that help you learn how to do this.

Shine

This is a female-focused, self-care app that aims to help users “rest, heal and grow through difficulty.” Its focus is self-improvement, and it delivers motivational messages through text and audio. The app provides meditations, a gratitude journal, and a daily mood tracker.

There are also many other great resources available online that can help if you are experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety and overwhelm.  Make time for exercise, go for a walk and get some fresh air whilst making a call, do a short yoga practice or stretching or do a quick workout, whatever your favourite activity is, plan that into your day.  Always remember you are not alone; speak to someone you trust.  Sharing a problem is often the first step to feeling better.

If you would like to discuss any of this content further, then please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.