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Ferrum Technology Services blog

Ferrum Technology Services has been serving the Elgin area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Seamless Access and Its Role in Your Business’ Productivity

Seamless Access and Its Role in Your Business’ Productivity

Productivity is crucial to every workplace. If your employees are not properly leveraging their opportunities to be productive, then they are ultimately costing your business a considerable amount. Thanks to technology solutions, you can help your employees stay productive in numerous ways--chief among them being access to crucial data and applications.

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Boost Productivity with Better Internal Communications

Boost Productivity with Better Internal Communications

Without a reliable way to stay in touch during office hours, your business can suffer from miscommunications and other, worse consequences. With so many communication solutions available to the average business, how can you help your business be as productive as possible? It all starts by making sure that your employees stay connected.

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3 Compelling Reasons to Make the Switch to Managed IT

3 Compelling Reasons to Make the Switch to Managed IT

Your organization needs its technology solutions in order to keep up with day-to-day operations, but at the same time, you’ll need to maintain them. Organizations that don’t have an IT department will sometimes turn to their employees to do the required maintenance, but this can put your infrastructure at risk.


To keep your IT out of danger due to inexperience or negligence, we want to share with you a way that you can keep your technology up-to-date and functional, without putting it at risk. It’s called managed IT services, and you’d be surprised what they can do for you. We’ll discuss some of the many benefits that your business can stand to take advantage of by forsaking break-fix IT in favor of managed IT.

Cost Savings
You’ll notice an immediate cost savings when using managed services as your core method of IT maintenance. Right off the bat, you’re saving money. Since you only pay a monthly service fee rather than large up-front costs, you’ll benefit immediately. You receive any sort of maintenance as per your service level agreement from your managed service provider, which is more effective than paying for unexpected maintenance from break-fix IT.

Plus, since you’re taking proactive measures to ensure that your organization’s technology is maintained, you’ll be less likely to experience crippling hardware failure. Break-fix IT providers basically depend on your technology not working properly for them to make money, so they have no real incentive to ensure that your technology is working properly in the long run. Managed IT providers, on the other hand, want to build a relationship with the client and prevent problems from happening in the first place, saving your organization money and boosting rapport in the process.

Less Wasted Time
Small businesses have a tough time acquiring an internal IT department due to budget restraints, but if you do have one, it’s probably swamped with work. This means that the work is either not getting done, or it’s being done poorly due to time constraints. You can’t cut corners in IT, as it could lead to dangerous downtime or missing important updates, putting your data at risk. In fact, one of the most important skipped maintenance procedures is the administration of patches and security updates--something that absolutely shouldn’t be missed.

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Is Social Media a Problem in Your Office?

Is Social Media a Problem in Your Office?

Social media is so popular that it feels like almost everybody uses it. If you’ve ever thought this, then a new study by communications agency We Are Flint confirms this suspicion. While there are several benefits to having more people connected via social media, the popularity of the technology can make it challenging to keep your employees on task.


In the study, it was found that a whopping 84 percent of adults use social media, and two-thirds of these users take advantage of social media on a daily basis. Other statistics from the study are equally eye-opening:

  • YouTube is the most commonly used social media site at 85 percent, while Facebook trails it at 78 percent.
  • As for daily uses, people use Facebook (59 percent), WhatsApp (28 percent), and YouTube (27 percent) most commonly.
  • Young people (18-29 years old) still use mostly Facebook and YouTube at 92 percent and 96 percent accordingly.

Anybody familiar with the social media phenomenon shouldn’t be surprised by these figures. Although, what’s alarming are the results of a survey by People Per Hour where it was found just how much time people spend using social media--while at work!

  • Five percent of men and 11 percent of women spend over 45 minutes of every hour using social media sites while in the workplace.
  • 54 percent of workers post Facebook updates from the office.
  • Meanwhile, only five percent of workers have ever received warnings regarding their use of social media at work.

Is this employee abuse of social media a problem in your office? You may not think it is, but these statistics say otherwise. At the very least, this should be an issue that you’re aware of. Also, if you have good reason to suspect that it’s a problem, then you should address it with your staff so they know your feelings about social media.

As far as how much time is too much time for an employee to spend on social media while at work, that is a figure for you to set as the business owner. It’s important to keep in mind that some positions may require the use of social media, like when it comes to marketing. Also, some workers may be skilled at managing their social media use in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with their work (and it may even enhance their productivity), while social media may be problematic in the hands of other employees that lack self-control.

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Are Your Breaks Not Quite Refreshing Enough? Try These 9 Apps!

Are Your Breaks Not Quite Refreshing Enough? Try These 9 Apps!

There are remarkably few people on the planet capable of filling an entire workday with 100 percent productivity. The human body simply needs to be refreshed. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques and technologies that let you do just that!

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Tip of the Week: Quirky Productivity Advice From 4 of History's Most Successful People

Tip of the Week: Quirky Productivity Advice From 4 of History's Most Successful People

It’s important that your workflow allows you to get the most success out of your workday, yet this is often easier said than done. Everyone has different routines and practices that might work for them, and no one else. If you’re looking for ways to improve your own productivity processes, why not consider these four famous individuals with unorthodox practices?

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3 Automation Apps to Make You a Master Multitasker

3 Automation Apps to Make You a Master Multitasker

Multitasking is no easy thing for a human being to do, no matter what anyone says--our brains simply are not wired to focus on more than one task at a time. To resolve this dilemma, there are apps that will automatically carry out an action if triggered by a user completing some other action. These are called automation apps, and they are becoming extraordinarily useful in today’s dynamic workplace.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Stop Being Such a Workaholic

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Stop Being Such a Workaholic

Even though taking a break from work seems like something that everybody would want to do, many cogs in the corporate machine choose to forgo breaks in the name of productivity. Oddly enough, this is a counterproductive move, seeing as taking breaks actually makes you more productive by improving your job performance.

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Tip of the Week: 6 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Wake Up Earlier

Tip of the Week: 6 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Wake Up Earlier

The last time you tried to wake up before 6:00 a.m., how did it go? Dragging yourself out of bed can be a huge pain, and when you realize that you have to work for eight, ten, or even twelve hours, you might get the urge to just crawl right back into bed and drift back to sleep. Even though it seems tortuous at best, getting into the routine of waking up early can set the tone for a productive workday.

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4 Ways to Engage Your Employees to Increase Productivity and Job Satisfaction

4 Ways to Engage Your Employees to Increase Productivity and Job Satisfaction

Business owners that regard employee engagement as an unimportant aspect of managing a business are sorely mistaken. There are few things more crucial to the success of a business than keeping employees happy and fulfilled. Yet, even if businesses have only the best intentions and want to improve employee engagement, few actually manage to do so.

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4 Office 365 Business Premium Features that Every Business Owner Will Appreciate

4 Office 365 Business Premium Features that Every Business Owner Will Appreciate

Microsoft Office 365 can enhance a company's operations in a variety of ways. Yet, due to the fact that not every business is the same, your organization will benefit more from a solution that’s customized to meet your needs. This is a big reason behind Microsoft’s customizable offering: Office 365 Business Premium.

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4 Proven Ways to Beat Office Distractions

b2ap3_thumbnail_are_you_distracted_400.jpgLet’s face it; the office is a pretty distracting place most of the time. You have people in meetings, discussions happening around every corner, the phone ringing every thirty seconds, and emails hitting your inbox left and right. With so much happening around you, how in the world are you supposed to get anything done?

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Mr. Wolfdog Teaches You to Dominate the Competition With a Giant, Honking Computer [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_wolfdog_tips_400.jpgApril 1st is a day for jokes and laughter. Therefore, we thought we’d lighten the mood and consult the funniest and the furriest CEO we know for computer advice; that’s right, Old Spice’s wolf-dog hybrid, Mr. Wolfdog!

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Tip of the Week: Tweak Your Workday in These 4 Ways and See Major Results

b2ap3_thumbnail_power_of_productivity_400.jpgSome days, productivity comes naturally and you can destroy tasks like it’s no one’s business. Other times, distractions seem to pop up everywhere and you need all the help you can get, just to get anything done. Here are four productivity tips, proven to help you regain focus at the office.

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Tip of the Week: 2 Tools that Let You Edit Like a Pro

b2ap3_thumbnail_compare_with_diff_checker_400.jpgEditing text can be a rather drawn out process. Thankfully, technology has made editing much easier than it was back in the day when papers were marked up with red ink and notes like “F- See me after class.” Here are two great editing tools that you will want to take advantage of.

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Gamification: Make Business Fun for Everyone

b2ap3_thumbnail_office_gamification_400.jpgFun is often misconstrued in the workplace and identified as being unproductive, or even lazy at times. However, more businesses than ever before are embracing the power of fun and letting the creative juices flow. Using game-like elements to achieve your business’s goals, or to improve operations, is called gamification, and you can take advantage of it.

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These Stats Don’t Bode Well For Mobile Devices In the Workplace

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_app_wasting_400.jpgYour mobile phone is meant to be an extension of productivity while you’re out of the office, but some people can’t resist the urge to mess around with the numerous entertainment applications right in front of them. Unfortunately, nowhere is this more true than in the office. What’s that? Your employees don’t waste time with mobile devices? Withhold judgment until you see the statistics. Your people might be wasting more time than you think.

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1 Whole Work Week Wasted Each Year Due to Mobile Apps

b2ap3_thumbnail_smartphone_distraction_400.jpgHow much time do you waste on your mobile phone’s applications on a regular basis? With so much entertainment and social media at your fingertips, it can be tempting to just forget about work for a bit and zone out to Candy Crush. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of employees have this mindset. The Nielsen Company made some shocking discoveries about how much time is wasted on mobile applications each month, and the results are disturbing.

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Tip of the Week: Why It’s Smart to Dumb Down Your Smartphone

b2ap3_thumbnail_useful_smartphone_400.jpgThe smartphone was an incredibly valuable introduction to the business world, allowing entrepreneurs to exponentially increase productivity both in and out of the workplace. However, they are a double-edged sword, capable of cutting down barriers, or slicing productivity to ribbons with time-wasting apps and texting.

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Harness the Power of the Tomato to Get More Work Done [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_pomodoro_technique_timer_400.jpgHave you ever wondered how in the world you’re going to get everything done, only to lose track of everything or get distracted? Some researchers believe that the tomato might be the key to unlocking the latent knack for productivity that lies dormant within us all. Albeit, not a real tomato, but the familiar tomato-shaped timer that counts down from 25 minutes.

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