In this day and age communication mainly occurs over email, especially in a professional setting. A typical employee can have a few dozen all the way up to a few hundred emails of notifications a day. They are assaulted by a host of documents, image files, videos, meeting invites and chit chat.
Their systems, both mental and electronic are stretched so thin that it has the potential to negatively impact their performance. How can you help them make things better, more manageable, more secure and more efficient? We list below a handful of productivity hacks that will make sure that they stay on track and charge harder than ever.
Head To The Cloud
Physical things can breakdown, be tampered with or be affected by the environment. This is all true for physical email servers and it can cripple businesses. Don’t be tied to the physical and start thinking virtual. Cloud or online networks ensures that your emails and systems are never affected by malfunctioning physical hardware. And, if you choose to go with a service like Microsoft’s Office 365, you receive support and service level agreements on par with enterprise level customers. This means that in the unlikely event that you experience downtime or recovery, you can rest assured that your business is in good and fast hands.
Lighten The Load On Your Servers
As much as it pains or annoys your staff, you must setup and enforce email archiving. It decreases the load on your local systems and email servers as it hosts the archived emails on an independent for-purpose server. The result is a lighter work load on your computers and an increase in their processing speed. A nice bonus is that you also end up with happier employees. Have you ever met an employee that loved slow computers? Smiling employees, an increase in processing speed and productivity. Sounds like a win-win-win.
Improve Security By Adding Filtering
Setup email security filtering to improve your first line of defense from attacks originating from the web. This alone will drastically decrease threats from malicious spam and infections from viruses. Along with preventing the spread of malevolent code, you will also be able to create a whitelist of pre-approved domains and email addresses in order to automate the process and so that you do not miss the important emails.
In Case Of Disaster, Have A Backup Plan
Server outages are like random waves at sea. You just never know when they’ll occur. Make sure that you have a disaster recovery procedure or backup plan in place when the unthinkable happens. Setting up backup MX (email) records with disaster recovery mailboxes is a must. This emergency process ensures that you are still able to send and receive emails in the event of an outage. Disaster recovery mailboxes allow you to get as granular as you like so if you only want the CEO, CFO and Head of Customer Services to have individual ones and all other staff to have a shared ones, no problem. The choice is yours based on what’s important to your business.
80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months (Source, AXA) and 57% of SMBs have no Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place. (Source, Symantec)
Drop POP And IMAP
Do you remember these email protocols? They were fantastic in the year 2000! Indeed they provided the backbone of modern email protocols, but they are old, antiquated and unresponsive to the needs of today. Look to the successors for your own systems. Your business requires Enterprise level platforms such as Microsoft Exchange or Google Apps. Bringing in a good enterprise solution to your environment will significantly increase robustness, resilience and performance to your email server. And to be honest, Microsoft Exchange and other similar platforms are now bread and butter for every business as the costs are so affordable.
Use The Latest Version Of An Enterprise Email Platform
Invest in the latest enterprise email platform, whether it be Microsoft Exchange 2013 or another for your calendars, mailbox collaborations or sharing files. Companies release better productivity features for their latest enterprise versions, for example last year’s integration between Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox Business which is continuously being developed and extended. Using the latest versions also add bonuses of having richer web browsing experience when accessing emails remotely absent of a desktop client. This feature is especially useful and practical for companies that employ a BYOD policy.
Embrace The Cloud
The potential of embracing the cloud has been much talked about, but when looked at from the perspective of business productivity you can truly see it shine. When you make the move towards a cloud-hosted enterprise email, whether it be Hosted Exchange, Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google Apps, you forego having to invest in bulky and expensive email servers. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, overhead and future upgrade costs for those servers as well. The result is a decrease in capital expenditure, instead you can re-allocate that budget and enjoy very flexible operating costs.