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Management

What Kind of Office Phone Systems Does a Small Business Need?

people meeting

people meetingModern day office phone systems are allowing options and convenience like never before. The systems now have more effective tools to talk with customers and clients.

This led to video and online meetings that changed business forever. When it comes to office phone systems companies, have more choices than ever before. Whether you want VoIP, on premises, cloud-hosted, virtual system or the traditional landline. With this incredible collection, find the ideal phone system for your business can be a chore.

Where Do I Start With Office Phone Systems?

The first thing you should ask yourself is what kind of connection do you want?

Virtual, landline or VoIP and where you wanted that system hosted. On the premises of your company office or in the cloud?

You have to consider features for your company phone systems, mobility access, customer service and overall cost. With so much to think about, how do you narrow down your choices?

Other than highlighting how different systems operate, we’ll also tackle the pros and cons as well as the cost of the company phones systems. We’ll even talk about the how each system fits various business needs.

So without further ado, here are the options for you to choose from that’ll help you identify the specific features and benefits you’re looking for your business telephone system.

System Choosing

We’ll start with the most traditional phone systems option, the landline.

Landline

For many years the landline was the best thing for any business telephone systems company to use. It would connect to the major network and work with the company’s copper wiring.

These phone systems were but expensive to maintain and were challenging to install. Other than the copper wiring, landlines also need a costly PBX or private branch exchange. The PBX allowed calls to switch between business and the telephone network.

This also allows features such as conference calling, automated attendants, voicemail to work.

Nowadays, the traditional type of landline is no longer in service. Telephone companies such as Gamma Telecom aren’t making new systems or more updates.

Tracking down IT professionals with the skills necessary to keep the systems working

Companies are now focusing more on other phone technologies.

VoIP

Most business telephone systems are VoIP at this point. Instead of going over copper wiring like landlines, VoIP runs on the next best thing the internet. Often that same internet connection is the one the employees also use to browse the web.

Using an existing data saves you the cost of installing and taking care of phone lines in your office or stores. VoIP systems also are versatile and work with PBX equipment. Thes phone system allows businesses to get a lot of features that would cost too much on their own.

Features like conference calling, call recording, automated attendants etc.

VoIP also works well with computers, allowing employee sent voicemails to their email and make calls.

When applying it for the first time, people didn’t know about them. There was noticeable static on many of the phones calls, and some experienced dropped calls. Nowadays the technology has improved, and the quality of the calls is so unnoticeable that no one can tell the difference between a landline and a VoIP anymore.

The only businesses that can use this kind of telephone system are businesses in regions where a high-speed wireless connection is unavailable.

Another thing VoIP has on landlines is it can be hosted on the company property or in the cloud, where landlines have to have a physical location.

Physical Location

Just like landline systems, on-premise VoIP phone systems come with all the PBX equipment ready to go and stored at the location at each business. This option allows you to be complete control of your system. You can install to your exact needs and don’t have to rely on anyone to keep it going.

The downside is since its located at your office; an IT staff is required to make all the upgrades and repairs. The VoIP system also has to be installed professionally.

Security is also a factor with on-premise VoIP. Physical locations don’t have the same security measures as cloud hosted solutions and all the data stays within your business telephone systems. If privacy is a big deal for your company, experts advice that keeping your VoIP on-premise is your best bet.

Firewalls can be built and configured to the exact desires to protect your phone systems. Other types of businesses well-suited for on-premise VoIP are large corporations that can pay the installation costs and want more customization.

Cloud

Modern day office phone systems are allowing options and convenience like never before. The systems now have more effective tools to talk with customers and clients. This led to video and online meetings that changed business forever.

Small businesses also have a fondness for cloud-hosted phone systems. This type of phone systems, the equipment is taken care of and stored in the cloud by the provider of your phone system. The only thing the business needs are the phones.

Plug and play is an excellent way to describe cloud systems.

Once you receive your phones and activate your service, the ethernet cable can be plugged in, and calls are ready received and made.The negatives to cloud-hosted solutions are that businesses have to rely solely on phone system providers to keep their service in tip-top shape.

To make sure that happens, many of the phone systems have several redundancies built into them. Including multiple data centers so that if one falls apart, the data can be moved to another facility to ensure the service continues to run.

Smalls businesses are usually the ones that get the most out of cloud-based because of their small cost and regular monthly charges that work with a budget. They also don’t require a professional IT expert to keep them working.

Wrapping it Up

Modern day office phone systems are allowing options and convenience like never before. The systems now have more effective tools to talk with customers and clients.

This led to video and online meetings that changed business forever.

For more information on business telephone systems and the best VoIP options for you, check out this article and our website.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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