Good tech habits that will improve your business
Good tech habits can make a real difference to any business. Whilst some of them may seem simple, it’s often the small things compounded over long periods of time that result in tangible change. By being simple, these good tech habits are also easy to stick to and are therefore best practices your business can look to implement straight away. Naturally, they tend to be the opposite of bad habits. Whilst bad habits can often seem like the easy way forward, they will be slowing down your business, costing you money, or putting your organisation at risk, so it’s best to address them and turn them into good habits as soon as possible.
In this blog post, not only have we listed some good tech habits that will improve your business, we’ve also looked to explain the benefits of each good habit and what improvements your business is likely to see as a result.
Use one account per user / Stop sharing login credentials.
If you only adopt one of these good tech habits, make it this one! Whilst it can be tempting to use one set of login credentials, particularly if you have multiple members of the same team using the same piece of software, ensuring you’re using one account for every actual user will make your business more secure.
Firstly, by having separate user accounts, you can track who does what. This may sound especially draconian but it serves a good purpose. Say something breaks, gets deleted or goes missing, by having an account per user you can accurately follow an audit trail that will allow you to solve the issue. This is particularly useful if something malicious is happening on your network, as it allows your IT support team to track down the problem quickly.
In addition to this, by limiting accounts to one per user, you can avoid issues with multiple people working on the same documents at the same time. Similar to the audit trail used above, having an account per-user allows you to see who amended what and when. It also allows people to work on documents at the same time and make the most of collaboration tools. Furthermore, you can also limit access to documents, features, and data, depending on who needs what, creating a degree of privacy for your users and your customers.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, for many pieces of software, it’s just part of the service agreement and we know companies like Microsoft are clamping down on such behaviour. With software playing a fundamental role in many businesses it’s not advisable to upset a key supplier by flagrantly ignoring the service agreement, which is why when combined with the other benefits detailed above, we think this is a critical good tech habit to adopt sooner rather than later!
Recycle or reuse old computer equipment.
This good tech habit is another to come from a commonly seen bad habit and is one that can also be rectified very easily. Unfortunately, the waste created by old, damaged or unfixable tech isn’t great for our environment, meaning you’ll want to avoid it ending up in landfill. This extends to peripherals like keyboards and mice too, which are often seen as instantly disposable when they break, with replacements cheaper and an easier option than a repair job.
Whilst this is somewhat inevitable, a good habit to get into, is the proper disposal of these items. It’s something your IT support provider should be able to assist with and will have great benefits for the environment. The first way to address old tech equipment is to look for someone else that might benefit from it. Many local charities, good causes, and even schools are often on the lookout for donated equipment that will help them provide better assistance to their own customers or students. An IT company can help you source good causes who may be in need of extra equipment, should you not have any contacts, and will help you prepare your old hardware for the new users. This means there won’t be any sensitive data left on the devices when they are used by someone new.
Unfortunately, some hardware simply can’t be reused. It is either broken beyond repair or simply too old to be used effectively, even by somebody in desperate need of the hardware. In these instances, it’s always worth recycling the hardware to minimise the impact it has on the environment. When our customers have outdated tech that can’t be reused, we recycle it for them. We will wipe all of the data from any device and then send the kit to be recycled. Technology has plenty of reusable parts that when taken apart that can often be put to good use, which is much better than it rotting at landfill!
Stop reusing passwords – now!
You should get in the habit of using strong, unique passwords immediately, if this isn’t already the case, and you should be actively ensuring any users on your network are doing the same. Weak passwords and poor password management are two of the main ways a network will become compromised, so if you’re still re-using passwords for multiple accounts – stop now! This is one of the worst habits there is when it comes to technology. When you have one password for multiple accounts, it only takes one mistake, and someone can have access to everything.
What’s worse, is that it doesn’t have to be your own mistake. Companies have a bad track record of losing customer records so don’t think you’re safe just because your one password is particularly complicated. No matter how strong your password is, if it ends up in the wrong hands, it can be used to access all of your accounts, if it’s been used routinely, and rest assured cyber criminals will try their luck. For the sake of your business’ cyber security insist that creating strong, unique passwords for all your accounts is a good tech habit that everyone in your team adopts. If you or somebody else has difficulty remembering these passwords, which is perfectly understandable, invest in a good password manager. Their value cannot be understated.
Improve your posture and take a break.
You could argue that this next good habit isn’t a tech habit at all, but we’re sure you’ll be thankful for it if you can make it common practice. Unfortunately, it might be harder to break if already adopted as a bad habit, if like many who use a computer for work you sit poorly and seldom take breaks away from your screen. It is something many of us are guilty of! The time many of us spend using tech is increasing in both our professional and our personal lives and whilst there are many benefits to this there are always drawbacks. A sedentary lifestyle increases a number of health risks and bad posture is something that has a large impact on wellness if not addressed.
Simply put, slouching in front of a computer for hours a day isn’t good for you! Instead, you should make sure you’re sitting comfortably, with your knees at 90 degrees, your feet flat on the floor, and adequate support for your back. You should also take frequent breaks to take the strain off your eyes, work in a well-lit environment, and if it helps request a screen for your monitor that reduces the glare. By picking up this good tech habit, you’ll be improving your health in the long run, and whilst you might not see any immediate changes, the long-term effects are certainly worthwhile. Repetitive strain injuries that can happen as a result of poor posture can be very painful and inhibit your working life, so it’s definitely a habit to take seriously.
Stop being at the mercy of your emails.
The last good tech habit we’d recommend is to stop being at the mercy of your emails and your inbox. It isn’t healthy and despite common misconceptions, it isn’t a productive habit either! Many people will experience this though. After all, it is very easy to spend a day working at your desk, only to realise come the end of the day, that you haven’t actually achieved anything that you set out to do. Why? Because you’ve spent all day responding to emails.
A much more productive habit is to close your emails frequently, in order to give yourself time to complete the tasks that you need to complete. This will inevitably improve your productivity as you’ll be using your time more effectively. Stop letting other people dictate what work you should be doing and prioritise your own workload. Once you’ve done what you need to, you can open your inbox again and address those emails. Don’t worry about missing something important either. If somebody needs you urgently they’ll call.