Best Practices, Productivity, Tips & Shortcuts

Ten Productivity Hacks

Rocket IT

With everything you can do from any of your devices, technology can sometimes be more of a distraction than a help. But there are several great tools and tricks to keep you on track with your tasks. From waking up early and engaging in regular exercise to attempting to manage all of your social media pages at once, here are ten ways you can increase your productivity this week:

1. Wake up early

Sleep Cycle can help you wake up at the right time so that you can maximize how much rest you are getting. By waking up during your lightest sleep stage you will feel energized and ready to take on the day, thus increasing your productivity.

2. Exercise

Research has shown that a midday workout can dramatically increase your productivity. Only have 30 minutes to spare? Check out the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app. All you need is a chair and (literally) 7 minutes to get your blood flowing.

3. Humin

This app was created to connect your phone, Facebook, and LinkedIn contacts, in addition to information pulled from your calendar, email, and voicemail to help categorize your contacts and give some context as to who they are and how you know them.

4. Strict Workflow

This Chrome extension uses the Pomodoro technique which breaks your work into 25-minute intervals with short, 5-minute breaks in between. One Pomodoro is a focused 25-minute working interval, with one 5-minute break; complete four and you can reward yourself with a longer break.

5. Roboform, LastPass, and Dashlane

These password managers help you save time from resetting your password for the third time this week. One of the nice features of LastPass is the password generator. Let it generate your password and then save it for you, all in one place.

6. To-do lists

Wunderlist has compatibility for almost all devices so you can have access to your list on your phone or computer. Easily turn emails into actions, set reminders, and share your lists with colleagues with this app.

7. Keep track of your notes

Stop searching for the notes from last week’s meeting and start using OneNote. This app allows you to keep everything organized and all in one place by simply clicking between various tabbed sections.

8. Rescue Time

This download tracks your computer usage to show you just how well, or not well, you are using your time. The premise is for you to understand your daily habits so that you can increase your productivity.

9. Social Media Management

If you are managing multiple social media accounts, I recommend Buffer. Not only does it post to all of your social media accounts from one place, it also helps you to schedule your posts for later so that you can share content at the best times possible.

10. Team Collaboration

Trello is the easy way to visually manage and organize your projects with all the team members included. From start to finish, Trello helps to outline each project, assign tasks, and see the progress that has been made along the way.

 

Do you have any other great productivity hacks? We’d love to hear about them! Join the conversation and tweet us @RocketIT.

 


 

About the Author – 

Bria Mays is the Office Administrator at Rocket IT. Bria has a BS in Psychology and is passionate about volunteering and blogging.

 

 

 

Nearly 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims.

Join us to learn how to mitigate this risk and what comes next after being infected by ransomware on July 27th for our Security in the Age of Ransomware webinar presented by Rocket IT’s vCIO, Eric Henderson.

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Leadership, Productivity, Tips & Shortcuts

Five Ways to Get into Fifth Gear in the Office

Rocket IT

At Rocket IT, we’ve adopted the Five Gears practice created by our friends at GiANT Worldwide to help us communicate better with each other in the office. If you’re not familiar with the tool, the five gears represent different modes any one of us is in at any point throughout the day. Each gear represents a different level of openness to distraction and interruption. For the sake of brevity (and not to give away too much of the book!), we’ll focus in on the fifth gear.

Fifth Gear is the mode you aim for when you buckle in to tackle tasks and get things done. When you’re in this gear, interruptions are the last thing you want, unless it’s an absolute emergency. When you tell someone not to interrupt you while you’re working on a report for a client later that week unless someone or something is actually on fire… That’s when you’ve already planned to enter the Fifth Gear.

Entering into this gear can be exceptionally difficult depending on your personality, habits… And on your office environment. We’re big fans of the open office environment on Rocket IT, in part because we’re also big proponents of collaboration and teamwork. So how do you get into Fifth Gear when you have distractions surrounding you?

  1. Communicate to your team that you’d prefer not to be interrupted and what ways they can send you questions they have without having to break into your workflow. Have you read our blog post about evaluating the medium through which you approach someone with a question based off of priority? This article will help you with this step.  Many people are really understanding and respectful of your desire to focus in without interruptions for questions that could easily be answered in an email or an IM. But they’re not mind-readers, so remember to express how you’d like to be approached.

  2. Come up with a system to indicate when you’re in Fifth Gear that all of your coworkers know. Whether it’s putting a red flag up on your desk or wearing a thinking cap, come up with your own best way to visually communicate when you’re not open to interruption. Since everyone in the office here is familiar with the Five Gears, we began holding up our hands to indicate when we’re in Fifth Gear and might need others to lower their voices. Keep in mind that there may be an adjustment period to this, and some people might end up with high-fives instead on accident.

  3. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds. This can also double as a method for indicating when you’re not open to interruption, but it really goes a long way in cutting down on the distraction noise. You don’t even need to play anything if that will pull you out of your task. It’s incredible what a little more silence can do for your focus.

  4. Use white noise playlists or device to reduce the amount of distraction noise around you. “Have a blast!” is our fourth company value at Rocket IT, and we do have a blast every day. But sometimes others having a blast around you can be a little distracting. And sometimes just normal work conversations can be distracting, especially because the urge to participate and help solve issues or join the fun can be so strong!If you’re not a huge fan of wearing headphones or earbuds for extended periods of time, this can be a great alternative for you.

  5. Reserve a quieter space in which to work. If your company has the option of open offices or conference rooms that are available for you to reserve time slots in during the work day, move yourself in there and close the door to really focus in on that big project.If your company doesn’t have that option, try finding a quieter corner or empty office you can borrow for an hour or two. Some employers will let you work remotely, and some studies find that remote workers can actually be more productive at home because they don’t have the same distractions as they do in the office.

Not all of these are an option for everyone, but we hope you’ll find one that works for you. And if you find any really great deals on noise-cancelling headphones, definitely let me know!

 


 

JM-2About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. She graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and returned to Georgia after spending a year in Austin, TX. 

 

1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.

 

 

 

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Productivity

The Pitfalls of Multitasking

Rocket IT

Multitasking. You love it, you hate it, and you can’t seem to stop doing it. Every office has the Ultimate Multitasker – the coworker who proclaims they are much more productive while multitasking and, while others may not be suited for it, they are a master of it. But does multitasking actually work?

Science says no.

When you multitask and switch between difference tasks, you lose productivity in the time it takes your mind to adjust to doing a new task… According to some studies, shifting between tasks can actually cost as much as 40% in productivity. [i] While the time your mind takes between the change in goals itself is relatively small (and virtually unnoticeable to you), those few seconds add up the more you do it.

For those Ultimate Multitaskers, not only are they losing productivity time in doing this, but they’re actually worse at multitasking than people who don’t normally multitask. Everyday multitaskers have a hard time focusing on segments of information; their mind is always trying to focus on all the information in front of them and tasks ahead of them.[ii]

As a reformed multitasker myself, I have to fight my straying attention to my ever-growing list of things to do as I write this.

When you’re constantly switching between things and working to stay focused, the little things tend to slip. The work of multitaskers tends to have more mistakes than that of non-multitaskers. It’s hard to see all the minute items when you’re so busy focused on the bigger picture. Sure, the Monet looks great as a whole, but it’s the tiny brushstrokes that got it there.

Part of the reason multitaskers find it so hard to get into the nitty gritty details and focus in while blocking everything else out is because multitasking on a regular basis may actually change your brain. A 2014 study found that people who regularly use a higher number of devices at once actually have less gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the part of the brain that handles cognitive and emotional control functions.[iii]

Good news for our multitaskers; other studies suggest that training on something that requires focus can increase gray matter density.

Rest assured that listening to music while you do the dishes probably won’t end poorly, but maybe it’s time to stop spinning so many plates while you’re in the office.

 


 

[i] http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx

[ii] http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html

[iii] http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/uos-bsr092314.php

 

 

JM-2About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. She graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and returned to Georgia after spending a year in Austin, TX. 

 

 

Newsletter AugustWant technology and leadership content sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to Rocket IT’s monthly newsletter!

 

 

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Productivity, Technology, Tips & Shortcuts

Spring Clean Your Technology

Rocket IT

There are so many ways technology can make your spring cleaning easier (Roombas, robot cleaning balls, using Yelp to find someone to help you out…), but when it comes to spring cleaning your technology, things get a little more complicated.

I like to get a jumpstart on my spring cleaning by planning out the toughest parts right before spring actually hits. That way I can get all the work out of the way early and spend the rest enjoying the warm weather and fresh flowers popping up from the ground.

Be honest. How many of us have old laptops or desktops sitting around somewhere in our houses because we weren’t quite sure what to do with them when we were done or because we just haven’t found the time for it yet? I’m raising my hand. I know I have an old laptop sitting in my closet, and every time I notice it, I just close the door quietly and pretend like I’m not just saving clutter.

And that’s not the only technology your spring cleaning can extend to! When’s the last time you backed up your hard drive, cleared up your desktop, or removed old programs you don’t use anymore? That’s space you can be using for so many other things!

So how can you clean out your technology?

Well, for the old computers being used as book ends, you have to be particular about how you recycle them. If they’re toast, the hard drive needs to be destroyed before it’s recycled. You can take them to companies that specialize in recycling computers (like e-Cycle), or you can look for technology recycling events in your area (keep an eye out for more news from us about a technology recycling event).

If you have old tablets or smart phones, consider donating them to your local schools! Many school systems allow their students to participate in BYOD programs for their classes, but some of the students can’t afford their own devices. Even for schools with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs, you can donate the devices to the classroom so students can use them and return them when they’re done. It’s a great way to help our schools.

As for your desktop, try consolidating the files you need into folders. If there’s something on your desktop screen that you don’t use every week, consider removing the shortcut and keeping it somewhere else on your computer so it looks less cluttered. Having a clean and organized desktop screen can be very satisfying.

If you want to clean up your computer and get more storage space for new items, backup old pictures, files, etc. to cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud. To find out where the majority of your storage space is being used, go to Settings > System > Storage and select your C: drive. I did this recently, and I found that over half of my storage was taken up by old image files. Since I’ve backed them up to an external hard drive and deleted them from my computer, I’ve freed up over 100 GB of storage, and my computer is moving faster.

There’s a lot of great ways to spring clean your technology. The hardest part is getting started.

 

 


 

 


JM-2About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. She graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and returned to Georgia after spending a year in Austin, TX. 

 

CTA Infographic 7 Ways PreviewWe’ve all heard stories of wayward IT consultants holding critical company information or other resources for ransom. This is one of the biggest concerns we hear from potential clients. There are several ways you can protect yourself and your business when you outsource your IT. Download our FREE infographic to learn the 7 Ways to Avoid Being Held Hostage by Your IT Consultant here.

 

 

 

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Productivity, Technology

Why You Should Invest in a Secondary ISP

Rocket IT

In the age of the Web of Things, experiencing an internet-outage in your headquarters can mean that every hour your servers are down, so is the productivity of your employees. After all, without any access to internet, email, or your website, what work can get done?

When your entire Internet Service Provider (ISP) experiences an outage, that means you and your company do to (along with hundreds of other companies). You might be able to go to the Starbucks down the road to get internet access again, but unless you’re bringing your server with you, chances are you won’t have access to many of the data and programs you need to until your ISP is up and running again.

Investing in a secondary ISP can easily save your company thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Sure, you can switch providers entirely; but, honestly, every ISP experiences outages (some maybe more than others). Redundancy is not a fun word. It tends to leave a very bitter taste in your mouth. But ISP Redundancy isn’t bitter – it’s actually a pretty smart way to go.

There are two modes to ISP Redundancy:

  1. Failover
    This is when you have one ISP set as your primary, and the second ISP is used only as a backup. When the first experiences an outage, the second ISP is there to take over everything until the primary ISP can get up and running again. This saves you from the lost productivity, but wastes some of the potential of having a second ISP which you can take advantage of in the next mode.
  2. Load-Balancing
    This mode is a little more complicated, but it allows you to take full advantage of having two ISPs. Using load-balancing allows you to balance usage on which connection is best at that point in time based off of multiple variables (that’s where it gets complicated). Your devices will determine which is best based off of those variables you set, so you don’t have to worry about Larry over in Accounting slowing down your webinar because he’s streaming Jessica Jones on Netflix.

If you want to invest in a less expensive, slower secondary ISP, then the first mode will probably work best for you. If you want to take full advantage of paying for a secondary ISP, then going with load-balancing is the way to go. Both modes will save you from experiencing the outage pains and should be chosen based off of the needs of your company and the complexity into which you’re willing to go.

Remember, it never hurts to have backups for everything.

 


 

SH

About the Author – 

Steve Hopkins is a Support Professional and Team Lead at Rocket IT. Steve and his wife are growing their family through adoption. They have already adopted two sons. 

 

Newsletter AugustWant technology and leadership content sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to Rocket IT’s monthly newsletter!

 

 

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Best Practices, Productivity, Teamwork

Did You Just Shout At A Funeral?

Rocket IT

You’re just trying to do like Brian Tracy said and eat that frog by your deadline, but between your open office environment and your coworkers’ insistence on immediate gratification in getting their random questions answered, you just can’t seem to get anything done. Sound familiar?

“A 2013 study found that many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance.” That is from a 2014 Washington Post article, which goes on to make recommendations to employers like offering private areas, implementing scheduled “quiet times,” and allowing employees to work from home.

Of course, the challenge employees have is that they don’t control when and how their company implements such changes.

I’d like to propose some ground rules for intra-office communication that you and your coworkers can choose to agree on. There are two specific variables I’m concerned with here – (1) how critical is it, and (2) how open is the recipient to distractions?

You wouldn’t shout at someone at a funeral, and you wouldn’t whisper at a loud party, right? Similarly, if you burst in when someone is focused on getting something accomplished with something that you don’t need an answer on anytime soon, you are shouting at them when a whisper would’ve sufficed.

To maximize everyone’s productivity, prioritize your method of communication based on both your message’s urgency and importance. Choosing to follow the following methodology makes sure how you are speaking in a “voice” consistent with your message.

  • If it is not very important, is it even worth distracting someone else with it? If it is, email it.
  • If it is important, but not urgent, still email it.
  • As the urgency grows, so should your method of communication (in this order):
    1. Instant message/text message – This says to the recipient “I am looking for an answer soon.”
    2. Phone call – This says “I could use your attention right now.”
    3. Drop-in – This says “I need to move forward but am stuck without your answer.”

Next, understand that your priorities don’t trump someone else’s. By setting up some mutually agreed upon cues, you can ensure you are respecting each other’s productivity.

  • If you need to get deep in head-down, focused work, put some headphones on and turn the email and IM off. If you’ve shared this, they’ll know it means that (unless it is an emergency) they need to stick with email and avoid interrupting you.
  • If someone does interrupt you, you now know that it is worthy of your attention and should allow it if at all possible.

Just with these two measures in mind, you and your coworkers can avoid this.

 


 

RBAbout the Author-

Ryan Bonilla is very active both professionally and personally in the Gwinnett community. He is a Gwinnett Chamber ambassador and serves on several committees and boards related to leadership and education. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Sugar Hill, GA.

 

Newsletter AugustWant technology and leadership content sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to Rocket IT’s monthly newsletter!

 

 

 

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Productivity, Technology, Tips & Shortcuts

Top Five Productivity Apps

Rocket IT

Let’s be honest… Productivity isn’t always what comes to mind when we think about our favorite mobile apps. We spend more time on Facebook and Audible than we’d care to admit. But the great thing about apps is there’s one for almost everything – even for making up the time we lose scrolling through our newsfeeds.

Here are five of our top productivity favorites in the office.

OneNote

Probably the best thing about OneNote is how seamlessly you can transition from device to device. Starting your grocery list on your laptop that needs checking off while you’re in the store? No problem; it’s all in one place. Want to check through notes from your last meeting? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

You can even upload business cards, flyers, and web pages into OneNote for review later. Now you don’t have to worry about whether a business card will fall out of your pocket before you get a chance to stick it in your (now defunct) rolodex.

Office Lens

Speaking of saving business cards and flyers to OneNote – you can create those images using Office Lens. This app will trim and enhance pictures of documents (and even whiteboards) to make them easier for you to read later. Don’t spend five minutes squinting because of the fluorescent glare in your quick snap.

I can’t remember the last time I had to use the scanner in our office. I don’t even have to leave my chair since my phone will capture it for me. Want to convert the image to a PDF? How about a Word document? Use Office Lens.

Google Voice

Using one mobile device for everything is becoming increasingly popular. Almost gone are the days when you had to juggle two separate cell phones. When you have the same phone for work and personal use, certain concerns rise… like what happens when you leave a position for whatever reason and the phone belongs to the company? Suddenly friends and family have no way to reach you until you can get your new number to them via social media or mass text.

Google Voice allows you to use multiple phone numbers (ones that stay with YOU and not with the device or phone plan) for one device. So if you do decide to move on, you can just pick up right where you left off without the awkward “new phone number, everyone!” Facebook status you just have to hope everyone sees.

You can also use Google Voice to email voice messages, text from your computer, and pick up calls from any phone or tablet.

Mint

Budgeting is something we should all be making time for, and Mint makes that pretty easy. This app calculates spending by category to help you create a budget that works best for you and your spending habits.  You can link up your bank account, credit card accounts, and retirement plan for a comprehensive picture. And Mint shows you how your spending decisions affect your monthly and yearly bottom lines. So if you have any bad habits, you’ll know about them before they become a real problem.

Mint has triple layer security (they call it three times the protection), and they use the same encryption and security standards as banks. And if that’s not enough, they’re also monitored and verified by unbiased third party experts like VeriSign and TRUSTe. And if your cell phone is ever stolen or lost, you can remotely delete all of your account information. Pretty handy.

LastPass

LastPass is an app that creates secure passwords specifically customized to the requirements of whatever site you need that password for. And the best part? You don’t actually have to remember them. This app remembers them for you, and the only super secure password you need to remember is the one to your LastPass.

They have an extension for all of the popular browsers so you can use it on your laptop at home. LastPass even has its own mobile browser that requires a pin to use. So if you, say, work in an office where the big prank involves coworkers posting silly statuses from your Facebook page, then your mobile phone won’t give them the opening to do so.

 

What are your favorite productivity apps?

 




SH

About the Author – 

Steve Hopkins is a Support Professional and Team Lead at Rocket IT. Steve and his wife are growing their family through adoption. They have already adopted two sons. 

 

Newsletter AugustWant technology and leadership content sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to Rocket IT’s monthly newsletter!

 

 

 

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Leadership, Productivity

The Fallacy of Agreement

Rocket IT

A friend recently shared a nugget of wisdom that had been passed down from his father. For days, I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I’ll share it with you in the hopes that it may be of value to you as well:

Don’t necessarily seek agreement among a group; at times, seek alignment instead.

Being in agreement means everyone has truly bought in that the group has found the most ideal solution, while alignment only requires that each person can support the solution (even if they would have done it differently if given the opportunity).

Certainly there are situations when agreement is necessary, but it may need to happen less often than you think. Several years ago, Rocket IT’s founder re-evaluated our company values. At the time, they were 10 words such as Stewardship, Creativity, and Balance with supporting phrases. I’ll wager that few team members could name every word and phrase.

With some effort, we rediscovered how to communicate our values in just 4 extremely short, impactful phrases:

Connect with people.
Be passionate stewards.
Find a better way.
Have a blast!

These newly crafted values weren’t rolled out with every team member agreeing that these were the exact values which were most important to them or exactly how they would articulate them. Waiting for that would have been an unnecessary exercise in futility. Instead, the team provided input throughout the process, and soon enough everyone was ready to fully embrace them. They worked to not only memorize the values, but to also understand how they should shape their every interaction as a Rocket IT ambassador.

And today, our team lives and breathes those values. We hire according to them, we discuss them all the time, and we serve our clients with them top of mind. 

Now to be sure, there are times when agreement is necessary, perhaps in hiring/firing situations, a major change in business offerings, or acquiring a competitor. However, I argue that most group decisions can be made in alignment if agreement is not easily found.

When do you recall a group unnecessarily seeking full agreement among its members? Share a story in the comments below.

CREDIT: My friend Jordan Mitchell (a senior recruiter in accounting and finance here in Atlanta) deserves all credit for prompting this post. While he may not have shared this nugget in this way, I certainly hope it aligns with the valuable lesson that his father passed to him.

 


 

RBAbout the Author-

Ryan Bonilla is very active both professionally and personally in the Gwinnett community. He is a Gwinnett Chamber ambassador as well as serving on several committees and boards related to leadership and education. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Sugar Hill, GA.

 

Newsletter AugustWant technology and leadership content sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to Rocket IT’s monthly newsletter!

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Productivity, Technology, Tips & Shortcuts

How to Win Against Your E-Mail Inbox

Rocket IT

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to facing down your e-mail inbox like others face down dragons. When you’re up against a crowded inbox, it’s hard to know where to get started (or even find the energy). Have faith. It is possible to go from packed to clutter-free.

The first step is to set aside time to declutter your inbox. With everything else that demands your attention, this can be a huge hurdle. But even taking fifteen minutes to sort out things, like what needs immediate action, what doesn’t, and what won’t even need a response, can make all the difference.

When I first tackled this, I spoke with Eric Henderson, Rocket IT Services Manager and resident Inbox De-Clutter King. He recommended only keeping e-mails that still require a response in your inbox. If you can knock an e-mail request out in under two minutes, then do that and immediately shuffle that e-mail into the appropriate folder or archive it. And, if you’re worried about missing something that requires action, you can set flags with reminders for yourself.

If you have too many e-mails coming in that require action, then create a folder specifically for those items and a rule to sort them automatically. This is great for all those newsletters you want to read eventually, just not right now. You can also use them for any sets of e-mails you have coming in regularly that fit specific variables, like one common topic or sender. You can even sort your e-mails out by clients.

Outlook+Rules+2.2.2

Once you click “Create Rule” from the drop down, you can create an Outlook rule based on sender, subject, and other variables.

 

Don’t be afraid to archive old e-mails. They’ll still be there when you need them. Trust me, you’ll save a lot of time utilizing the Search feature in your archive when you need to find something than you will scrolling around in your inbox to see what’s new and what isn’t.

You don’t have to spend every morning knee-deep in e-mails. Your Rules option and Archive button are about to become your new best friends and strongest allies in keeping the e-mail demons at bay. Trust a former resident of the inbox pit of despair; your mornings are about to get a lot more manageable.

 


 

About the Authors-

EH 2

 Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s Service Manager. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).

 

 

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. She graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and returned to Georgia after spending a year in Austin, TX. 

 

 

 

 

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Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Productivity

Mitigating the Cost of Long Commutes

Rocket IT

Have you ever done the math on the cost of a long commute? For those of us with employees that travel to and from work every day, the costs are staggering.

Consider this very common scenario:

Scott has a 45 minute commute to work. That’s 1.5 hours per day, or 7.5 hours per week. Assuming he works 50 weeks per year, he spends 375 hours per year fighting traffic in his car. That’s the equivalent of almost 10 work weeks every year! Unpaid. Now add in fuel and maintenance expenses, increased auto insurance costs, increased stress, and decreased productivity. Wow!

As an employer, there are many ways to improve the circumstances for our commuting employees. We can offer alternative work schedules that avoid rush hour traffic, encourage or incent our employees to move closer to work, or if many of our employees are commuting, we might even consider moving our offices to a more convenient location. These measures may seem expensive, but their costs pale in comparison to the real costs associated with long commutes.

Fortunately, technology provides an attractive solution to the commuting problem. With appropriate, affordable technology systems in place, employees can work from home or almost anywhere and be just as productive as they are at the office. Emails, important documents, and business applications can be accessed in a secure fashion from a laptop, home computer, or in some cases, a mobile device. Mobile phones and webcams ensure everyone stays connected. Employers get happier, less-stressed employees and employees enjoy more time with their families. Win-win.

I’m not advocating that we all close our offices and send everyone to work from home. Perhaps a blended approach is better (i.e. employees work from home a certain number of days per week or month). Whatever the case, I do think it’s smart to understand the costs associated with lengthy commutes and to take steps towards mitigating those costs. As an employer and the leader of my organization, it’s my job to find ways to cut costs and increase productivity. As usual, technology offers a compelling way forward.

 

 


 

About the Author-

Matt Hyatt is the Founder and CEO of Rocket IT, the IT department for all kinds of organizations around Gwinnett. His award-winning firm provides both the strategy and support needed to help businesses thrive.

Matt currently serves on the Executive Board of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce as the Vice Chair of Entrepreneurship & Small Business, is an active supporter of Gwinnett County Public Schools, and is a member of several peer groups (like Entrepreneurs’ Organization) in addition to cofounding two of his own. In 2014, Matt was awarded the Pinnacle Small Business Person of the Year. 

Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, Maureen, and their two teenage children pursuing their shared passions for photography, travel, and food. He also regularly runs with a team in ultra-long distance relay races.

 

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