12 Desk Hacks to Make you More Productive at Work [Infographic] 36

12 Desk Hacks to Make you More Productive at Work [Infographic]

This is a guest post by John, a digital nomad and freelance writer, specializing in leadership, digital media and personal growth.

If you have the kind of job where you mostly stare into a computer screen all day, chances are you’ve put a considerable amount of time and effort into optimizing that machine for your workflow.

You have the software and apps you need, your virtual desktop is kept meticulously tidy, you have a break timer app installed, and your screen is calibrated to be kind to your eyes no matter the time of day.

Maybe you’ve even sent off for a luxury mouse and wireless headphones to make your workstation experience even more pleasant.

Yet we spend so much time concentrating on that small aspect of our broader surroundings that it is often the case that we neglect the rest of our immediate environment.

There’s a limit to what you can achieve by ‘pimping’ your computer, and in the end it’s the physical world around you that may have the greatest effect on your productivity. There are a number of steps you can take and desk hacks you can implement to help this neglected area of your workspace give your workflow a bit more oomph.

For starters, you need a couple of accessories to help remind you that you’re not a machine.

There are few better workmates than a potted plant in the office.

They don’t interrupt your train of thought, they don’t distract you with idle gossip or dump their excess workload on you. But if you treat them well they will respond in kind by keeping the air around you fresh and perpetuating a creative atmosphere with the green of their leaves and the wonder of their growth.

Both you and your new plant should also respond positively to the installing of a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light. If you work in a dark corner of the office or you clock in before the sun has risen, a SAD light can replicate the natural light that you (and Planty McPlantface) require to keep your body clock in check and your mind alert.

Peppermint oil can complete this natural trio, by stimulating your brain and keeping the atmosphere around you fresh. It’s particularly effective if your office tends to smell of industrial cleaning products, or no cleaning products at all!

Dab a few drops on your neck and temples when you need a bit of a kick-start.

There are a few ‘ housekeeping desk hacks ’ you can also apply to your desk area to make it a more friendly and creative place.

A three-tier letter tray is an excellent way to prevent meaningless heaps of paperwork piling up, which always leads to a frustrating search when you suddenly need a document that’s lost midway through the pile.

It also makes you look tidier, so your colleagues don’t label you ‘the messy one’ and you look more in-control to your boss.

Keeping your workspace warm may be down to you if your building manager is constantly watching the heating bills.

A warm office has been shown to lead to productivity. So if you find yourself constantly shivering and tugging at your sleeves, consider keeping a blanket under your desk.

It can also make you feel more comfortable and at home, so you can relax into your work instead of remaining a nervous wreck. Just don’t get too comfortable – there’s a time and a place for napping, and this probably isn’t it.

The good people at The Business Backer have created an excellent new guide to a dozen desk hacks you can try to get your productivity up and make the office a more pleasant place to be.

Try making a few changes tomorrow morning, and you should soon see some improvements to your output, and your general attitude towards being at work.

Which desk hacks did you like the most? What can you do to optimize your workflow today?
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Data Is Important to Your Business’s Operations: Keep It as Safe as It Is Accessible 4

The Secret to Designing Perfect Landing Pages

Computers have been able to move files between one another since the technology’s very early days. The first File Transfer Protocol (FTP) technology emerged in 1971. Back then, network administrators only needed to move data from one place to the next; security was not an issue. Furthermore, since the computers were probably in the same room, the data did not have very far to go.

Today, there are many ways to move data efficiently and safely over long distances. MOVEit by ipswitch is a good example. It’s very robust yet also very easy to use. It also has a number of audit trail and compliance features that really make it a useful program.

How do you know for sure whether Moveit or some other program is the right one for your business?

What is Secure File Transfer?

FTP still works very well when there is absolutely no need for security, but these instances are few and far between. Some of today’s most popular file transfer options are:

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol: As the name implies, SFTP is FTP plus encryption. The combination is very fast and prevents network eavesdropping. SCP (Secure Copy) is a closely related protocol.
  • Managed File Transfer: MFT is a much more complex option. In addition to file security, it adds a variety of audit, management, reliability, and other features.
  • Email Encryption: Instead of transferring the file as an attachment, a secure email sends a link. Then, the recipient can download the document from a secure site. Moreover, email encryption enables users to send very large files with little drama.
  • Hosting: Originally, file hosting services supported document collaboration and nothing else. Lately, security features have emerged as well, making network hosting a viable secure file transfer option.

All these methods rely on access control. Typically, that involves a username and password. Depending on the organization’s needs, the access control can be much tighter. Usually, this process involves an Identity and Access Management (IAM) system.

Some File Transfer Features

In its most basic form, secure file transfer relies on command line interfaces. This system is automated and not designed for user interface, so there are very few additional features. On the other hand, command line interfaces are very low-cost and allow organizations to maintain control over file security even if they use cloud providers.

SFTP is still the best option for most businesses, but SFTP by itself often falls short. Consider adding additional features like:

  • Auditing: Sometimes, auditing functions are available as an add-on. But organizations that also have compliance issues in this area, such as those that handle Personal Identifying Information (PII), may be better off with MFT.
  • Scheduling: This need is not as common but it’s still out there. Sometimes, users need to send documents at certain times of the day, usually to avoid bandwidth conflicts. Customers with scheduling needs almost always need MFT, because its systems are very robust.
  • Indirect Transfer: Only MFT allows users to send documents to an intermediary server when then forwards them to the recipients. The user and recipient are isolated from each other, and such transfers are easier to track.

Consider the options carefully before making a decision. Then, go with an established provider who stands by its products.