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How Much Time Do You Spend on These Websites?

How Much Time Do You Spend on These Websites?

The Internet is massive. It’s simultaneously a never-ending shopping mall, the biggest library that you’ve ever seen, and movie theater. According to a study conducted by MIT, the average American now spends a full day of their week (24 hours) online...and that’s just an average. We all know people who are locked into the Internet from the moment they wake up and stay locked in until they go to sleep. Surprisingly, people only spend their time on a handful of the over 644 million websites that populate the Internet. Today we will take a look at the four most visited sites on the Internet and examine why users spend so much time visiting them.


Google.com
I don’t think anyone would be surprised to find out that Google was the most visited site on the Internet. As the most popular (and best) search engine on the web, it is the most useful site. After all, when you search for something on the Internet (whether you use Google.com or not), it’s referred to as “googling”. This just speaks to its transcendence in the consciousness of Internet users everywhere.

The Google homepage is extraordinarily simple with no advertisements and options to access Google-based products and services and provides a legendary ease of use. Simply type (or speak) your query in the Google bar and wham, you have results. In 2017, nearly 70 percent of all web searches were done using Google.com. Results pages give visitors a lot of options, and do have advertisements, but Google has made certain that the ad space they sell is qualified and is represented on the page much like the non-ad content, as to not distract the user. Some options they give visitors include search query results, access to media, access to contact information, access to immediate information (if available), and suggestions for other queries you may use to get the answers you want. Add it all up and Google has become the most visited site on the Internet because it brings a lot of value to each and every user.

YouTube.com
Consider for a moment that the video streaming service YouTube may just be human’s greatest resource. Who among us hasn’t gone onto YouTube to view a tutorial about something or other? People continuously seek knowledge and today’s person is much more comfortable taking their information in video form than they are through reading. YouTube is a website that shows you just how helpful people can be when they have information they are willing to share.

YouTube’s search engine is technically the second largest of its kind on the Internet, and if you think that figure is impressive, consider one more tidbit: at any given time, half of the Internet is viewing YouTube. Whether you are looking to be educated or entertained, YouTube is a one-stop shop.

For businesses it’s more a mixed bag. There is no doubt that the marketing opportunities provided by YouTube can be a great way to get your message out to potential customers, but the drains that YouTube can have on employee productivity are substantial. In fact, some businesses have suggested that they lose upwards of seven hours per week per employee (or about 18% of total productivity), so if you are going to allow your staff access to YouTube at work (which statistics show you should), make sure that you have a system in place that can work to limit employee access to training materials and other educational channels and not time-wasting channels.

Facebook.com
Over two billion people actively use Facebook. Today, it’s used to run events, sell products and services, and express opinions. Since so many people utilize the service, anything you need to do as far as virtual networking can be done using Facebook.

It has a lot of attractive integrated applications, but no single application has as big of an effect on the use of Facebook as Facebook Messenger. The messaging application sets Facebook apart from all other social networks as it integrates with most computing platforms to provide feature-rich text messaging to other people using the service. Beyond Messenger, there are countless other ways to connect with people on Facebook. Games, discussion groups, and much, much more make Facebook the go-to resource for social networking on the web.

Like YouTube, Facebook can be a big drain on productivity. One study found that Facebook costs U.S.-based businesses upwards of $28 billion a year. That’s about 1.5 percent of all potential productivity lost to political memes, friend's statuses, and event planning, so be sure to monitor your network for Facebook usage and limit it as necessary.

Reddit.com
Reddit is the largest online forum website and has made it up to the top four because of the amount of time people spend on it. As the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet”, it has become the site where people spend the most time. There is no other website that has the combination of controversy, information, entertainment, and potential distraction that Reddit has. There are literally thousands of different topics being discussed in forums, called subreddits. Any hobby, platform, opinion, or fact probably has its own subreddit. Since users can search through them, and quickly become engaged, time can melt away pretty quickly.

Of all the sites that a business should consider blocking, Reddit has to be at the top. By allowing it to be accessed by your staff, there is a distinct possibility that you are just tossing money down the drain. So, while it is extremely useful for anyone that wants to learn or discuss variables about issues that are relevant today, Reddit is most certainly an enemy of productivity.

Everyone knows that the Internet is a great resource, but it can also be a huge waste of an organization time--and that is a resource you can’t get back. For more information about instituting a content filter to ensure that your staff is focused on the things they should be while at work call Infradapt today at 800.394.2301.

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Invoicing Processes

Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Invoicing Processes

One of the most important considerations in any business is to ensure that payments are properly received and processed. Otherwise, you may as well not be in business at all. To help expedite this, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to creating a better, more effective invoice. Let’s get into it.


How to Create Your Invoice
First, you need to have some way to actually construct the invoice document itself. For this, you have some options. If you use Microsoft Office products, both Excel and Word have templates you can use to put it together, and G Suite users can leverage any number of integrations to do the same. Alternatively, there are many software titles out there that offer more specific functions based on need and preference.

Once you have selected your software, you can start to put your invoice together. You will want to be sure that your invoice includes the following information:

  • Description - You want to be crystal clear on your invoices about what you are billing for, especially if part of it refers to time spent rendering a service. This will allow you to properly bill your clients while allowing them to understand exactly what they are being billed for, cutting back on how often your invoices are contested. Overall, every invoice should include the order number it refers to, the total amount owed, how the invoice can be paid, and when payment is due.
  • Discount Details - If you are offering any discounts, you will also want to make sure these are clearly annotated on your invoices as well - especially for those who are first signing on to your services. Otherwise, these discounts may confuse your clients and instill a false expectation for the future - creating surprise and frustration when the discounts are gone later.
  • Schedules and Policies - Just as you were held to a schedule to deliver your service, your client needs to be held to a schedule to pay for it. Consistency will also help your client prepare their payments on time. On a related note, your invoice should thoroughly explain your company policies on discounts, late payments and associated fines, and due dates to make your expectations of the client very clear.

Of course, this isn’t everything that can, or should, go on your invoices. However, these aspects are crucial enough to be mentioned and detailed separately. You should also consider other elements to include on your invoice, making use of what would otherwise be blank space. You may consider adding a more personalized touch and suggesting the next steps that a client should take, based on the services you are billing them for.

Furthermore, add some more of a personal touch by including some kind of thank-you message on the invoice. Write up a brief piece thanking your client for their business and have it printed on the invoice. Not only is this a visible way to earnestly say thank you, the appreciation you show may help to expedite payments and encourage repeat business.

When and How to Distribute Your Invoice
If you want to receive your payments on time, how you send your invoices is just as important as how they look. First and foremost, they need to be sent much sooner than later.

If yours is like many businesses, you may have found that your invoices go unpaid for long stretches of time. Estimates put the total of unpaid invoices to small businesses at well over $800 billion, and that was back in January of this year. This is why it is crucial that your invoices are distributed efficiently - it may be a long time before you get them back.

This is another reason that technology solutions are useful tools to assist you in managing your invoices digitally. Most invoicing software will likely enable you to track the status of the invoices you’ve sent.

If you want more assistance in managing your invoices, reach out to Infradapt. We’d be happy to assist you, all you have to do is call 800.394.2301. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more useful technology tips and advice!

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Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

As technology has evolved, so have our capabilities of using it. While this has led to great improvements in how we can live our lives, it has also made it much easier for us to torment and harass one another. This is a huge problem, and growing, so it is important to know how to take a stand against it - both at home, and in the workplace.


The Cybersmile Foundation was formed on June 17th, 2012, to help spread awareness of this problem and promote online inclusivity over toxic harassment and abuse. Unfortunately, their efforts are very much needed, as cyberbullying is still a pervasive problem.

What is a Cyberbully?

A cyberbully is pretty much what it sounds like: they are someone who torments others, causing them pain and angst, over a digital medium. Common media for a cyberbully to leverage include social media, online forums, and even texting and instant messaging. Since this form of harassment doesn’t require the bully and their target to be in the same place, there is a much greater timeframe of opportunity for this kind of bullying to take place. While many cyberbullies work alone, it isn’t uncommon for groups of people to engage in such activities cooperatively. Not only can this kind of bullying be very public, it can more insidiously be kept private, and many cyberbullies act anonymously to protect their own identities. Even worse, a total stranger may be the one to target someone as a victim of their attacks.

What possibly makes cyberbullying so insidious, is the fact that the target may not even be aware that it is going on. If, for instance, nasty things are being said on a social media platform or profile that the target cannot access, the only way they will find out is if someone says something - which doesn’t always happen.

Workplace Cyberbullying

While it may be known best as something that kids and adolescents have to contend with, cyberbullying has been seen among all age groups. This has only become more true in an increasingly digital workplace, where tools like email, instant messaging, and social media are leveraged for their productivity benefits. Considering this increase, it comes as no surprise that the workplace is becoming prime hunting grounds for cyberbullies. A study that polled almost 3,000 people found that 96 percent - yes, 96 - had been on the receiving end of workplace bullying.

Whether this cyberbullying takes the shape of gossip over instant messages between conspiring coworkers or a manager that sends abusive and unpleasant emails at intentionally inconvenient times, it creates a hostile work environment that erodes motivation and engagement and makes collaboration effectively impossible.

What Can Be Done

There are actions that both the recipient of cyberbullying and their employer can take to discourage this kind of unprofessional and hurtful behavior from occurring.

First, if the recipient of this kind of abuse is aware of the situation, they need to keep a cooler head and speak up for themselves. Calmly, rationally, and politely, the recipient should inform the perpetrating coworker that the behavior is to stop. Taking the high road, as it is with most interpersonal confrontations, is the best option when harassment is involved.

The receiving employee should also start collecting evidence. This will help them support their position if the time should come that they need to lodge a formal complaint. Keeping emails, social media posts, and other instances that they feel constitute abusive and hurtful behavior will give them what they need. Furthermore, they should also educate themselves on their rights as they pertain to their personal information. If some has been shared by the cyberbully, there could have been some laws broken. Neither defamation nor data protection are laughing matters.

An employer should want to create a working environment that runs smoothly, making it more likely to be productive. Harassment and cyberbullying throw a wrench in operations, so it only makes sense that an employer would want it to stop. Furthermore, the employer needs to make it clear to their employees that cyberbullying will not be tolerated. To do this, there should be a policy prepared that informs their employees what conduct will (and what conduct will not) be tolerated between employees, inside and outside of the office and work hours. This policy should be introduced during a new employee orientation, and if the issue was widespread enough, reviewed among the staff after an instance of workplace cyberbullying.

For more information about cyberbullying and additional resources, visit the official Stop Cyberbullying Day website. Technology is meant to help us grow as businesses, as people, and ultimately, as a society - not to tear each other down. Together, we can work to make that more the case.

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How Does the A.I. in Reality Measure Up to Hollywood’s?

How Does the A.I. in Reality Measure Up to Hollywood’s?

Figuring out how to utilize platforms that depend on machine learning to boost an organization’s bottom line is one of the biggest puzzles for every modern business owner. After all, seemingly every new technology concept can be leveraged into enhanced profitability if it is rolled out right. In this case, many organizations have found ways to use human-created machines to learn how to do tasks that would be deemed too expensive if humans were to do them.

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You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

A file cabinet might seem like it’s necessary for operations, but it’s actually not as useful as it used to be in the past. This is primarily due to the implementation of new solutions such as the document management system. By taking advantage of a new digital storage system for your business’ documents, you can optimize operations and ditch that filing cabinet for good.


What is a Document Management System?
In short, a document management system is a software that allows you to scan all of your paper files that have accumulated over the years and store them in a secure digital database. Better yet, this database is accessible from anywhere, as long as the user has permissions to access it. You can think of it as one big electronic filing cabinet. Since it’s hosted in the cloud or on your in-house infrastructure, you can integrate a document management system in whatever way best suits your organization’s needs.

Why You Might Want One
Imagine an office without filing cabinets, paper files, or printing costs. Any room that is being used to hold these bulky objects and any loose paper files can be freed up for other uses. Imagine never having to dig through countless files just to find one particular document again. Any documents you might need can be found just by going to your document management system via your smartphone or desktop. This makes for much more efficient use of your available resources as a whole.

Going Paperless
It’s easier to search for a digital file than it is to dig through a physical file folder. If you go paperless, this is one of the many benefits that you receive from a digital file storage system. Since you’re going paperless, you’ll be spending less on ink, paper, and printer maintenance--all of which totals up to a considerable cost. Since you can save time on accessing, editing, and saving documents, you’ll see improvements in productivity.

Let’s imagine that your organization is hit by a crippling disaster. It wipes out all of your filing cabinets and internal infrastructure. If you keep your document management system in the cloud, all of these files will be saved from the destruction. This keeps your data backed up in a secure location where it can be restored at a later date.

Perhaps one of the most notable ways your organization benefits from paperless technology is that you reduce your carbon footprint. If you waste a lot of paper, you contribute to a lot of environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, and deforestation. The United States alone wastes four million tons of office paper every year, so you can do your part to keep the environment clean by going paperless.

Does your business need help implementing such a solution? Infradapt can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 800.394.2301.

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Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Did you know that Microsoft Word can actually edit PDF files? Well… the most recent version of it can, anyway. Since Adobe Acrobat can be a considerable investment for each and every one of your employees, you can instead turn to the tried and true Microsoft Word for this purpose. We’ll show you how you can do this (as long as you have the most recent version of MS Word).


Open the PDF
First, you’ll need to open the PDF. To do this, open up Microsoft Word and select Open Other Documents from the left-hand menu.

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This brings up the Open menu. Next, you want to click on Browse.

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Another message will appear telling you that Word will convert the PDF to an editable Word document. If this sounds fine, click on OK.

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Your PDF should open up in Word now, but you might notice that there is still a yellow bar at the top of the screen that says PROTECTED VIEW. This is meant to secure your software from opening anything dangerous. If you can trust the document, click the Enable Editing button.

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Once you press the button, another notification will show you that Word will convert the PDF to an editable Word document. To close this message, just click on the checkboxor click OK.

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You can now edit your PDF.

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Once you’re done, you can save the file back to a PDF format. To do this, select File > Save As and set the type to PDF from the dropdown menu under the assigned file name. You will have to rename the document slightly to save it to a file folder.

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Once you’re done, your edited PDF will open in Microsoft Edge, or whatever your default PDF viewer happens to be.

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What are some other cool features of Microsoft Word that you would like us to cover? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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How to Use Technology to Make a Better Workplace

How to Use Technology to Make a Better Workplace

In recent years, employers have offered more ways for employees to customize how they see their work environment. These extra features can often go a long way toward improving their productivity and comfort in the office, but they are often held in check by the problems that such technology can create. A smart office was created with the purposes of keeping these technological shortcomings from crippling employee productivity.

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Sports Are a Training Ground for Smart Technology

Sports Are a Training Ground for Smart Technology

Smart technology and the whole Internet of Things revolution has been underway now for some time. One vertical market that has embraced this shift was that of sports and fitness. Of course, you’ve heard of (and possibly own) a fitness band that is designed to track your steps, your vitals, and some other things to allow you to be the best version of yourself. This technology has been around for years and, while useful, isn’t transforming the face of sports like the technology you are seeing being introduced today. Today, we’ll take a look at how the IoT is transforming the sporting world.


The Games
Sports are important throughout the world. With so many people claiming to be sports fans, and so much money spent on viewing sporting events annually, it stands to reason that one of the biggest technology trends in history hit the sports world (and athletics as a whole). To this point the Internet of Things has been a conceptual strategy in some industries. Not in sports, where athletes, teams, and leagues are using sensors and smart products to help quantify and track elements of an athlete's performance, while using the immense amount of data that’s produced to formulate plans to make sports safer. The analysis of this data has become big business, and is, in some cases, transforming the games themselves

The National Pastime
One example is happening in baseball. Several years ago, the use of data began to change the way teams value players. Called sabermetrics, it took all the raw data that was collected from the game (and there is an awful large amount of data in every game), plugged it into algorithms that were uses to compare every player to every other player. This provided a map of how to put together a winning team for fewer dollars. Later named “Moneyball”, the strategy began to make its way through the major leagues, into the minor leagues, and beyond. With so much impetus put on the numbers, a lot of teams started finding new algorithmic approaches to try to get an advantage.

When the IoT was in its infancy, the shift toward analysis has only quickened the pace of innovations. Today, so much raw data is taken from a baseball game that all 30 major league teams have come to employ huge analytic departments to sort through and quantify the data. This has not just been used to determine the acquisition (and value) of players, it has been used to determine lineup configuration, defense configuration, pitcher effectiveness, and all in the name of situational advantage.

Once general managers, managers, and players knew what they were looking for, they began to use the newest technologies to track specific parts of a player performance. One way that IoT is working to improve player performance is by introducing technologies like SwingTracker that attaches to the bat and captures a player’s swing in 10,000 separate data points per second, and the mThrow wearable sleeve that pitchers can wear on their arms to measure pitching mechanics. Since millions of dollars are spent on contracts for players, teams are trying to be as diligent as possible as to not waste available capital. Beyond the dollars and cents, these IoT wearables not only help athletes fine-tune their craft, they do it in a way that helps them avoid injury.

Other major sporting leagues including the NFL, MLS, Premier League, NHL, NBA, and PGA all have incorporated IoT devices into the training and reporting strategies trying to both enhance the quality of their product while protecting (as much as they can) their resources (their players).

The Athletes
For the athletes themselves, the IoT has a myriad of potential uses. Today there are smart clothes, including socks, shoes, fabrics, and more designed to help the track and improve performance. Here are some examples of IoT devices that are helping individuals excel in their athletic endeavors:

  • The connected basketball - Ball handling and shooting are two of the most important offensive skills for a basketball player and there are now basketballs on the on the market that can help you improve your ball handling and shooting by incorporating sensors into the ball itself. The corresponding app presents you options to measure your dribbling and shooting.
  • The connected hockey stick - Using tape sensors, a hockey stick can help players measure their shot speed, their blade angle, and a player’s stick work.
  • The connected golf club - Golf has, somewhat ironically, been the one sport that has embraced technology most over the past 50 years. So, it is not really a big surprise that the IoT has already found its way into both clubs, and their grips. Today, there are many options for the tech-savvy golfer to improve their game using IoT technology.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for football - By sticking an RFID sensor in a player’s shoulder pad, coaches can now see where the location of a player, the speed, and the direction they’re going. This allows them to put together smarter game plans and improve team performance.

The Internet of Things is changing the world we live in, and it’s not happening slowly. Have you started using IoT-connected devices? Tell us about your IoT experiences today in the comments section below.

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