02.15
2019

6 Ways to Be More Professional at Work

If we were to ask your colleagues how professional you are, what do you think they would say? Would they sing you praises? Or would they suggest that you’re a little too rough around the edges? If you’re leaning more toward the latter of the two, it may be that you need to step up your game a bit. It really doesn’t take much to reshape your look around the office so that you exude a level of professionalism that commands respect … and gets you noticed by the people that matter most.

Look the part.
Whether or not you like it, appearance plays a big part in how others perceive you. Of course, you have to take into consideration your industry. If you’re working at a construction site, it’s probably not a great idea to show up in a three-piece suit. But are you always dressed in worksite–appropriate attire, including all necessary safety gear? Whatever the setting, dress accordingly so you’re always sending the right visual message.

Be reliable.
This can cover a lot of areas. Unexpected circumstances notwithstanding, are you always on time? When you tell someone that you’re going to get something done, are you sure to follow through by the deadline promised? When your team is down a member, are you the go-to person who helps pick up the slack and make sure it’s business as usual? Your goal is to be the person everyone knows they can count on.

Clean up.
We’re not talking about your appearance here. We covered that already. This time, we’re talking about your personal space. Whether you have an office, a cubicle, or spend most of your time behind the wheel, keep your workspace as clean and organized as possible. You may regard your clutter as your own form of organized chaos, but others will only focus on (and remember) the chaos.

Communicate well.
You don’t have to be the most eloquent speaker to convey professionalism. But you do need to make sure that what you say — whether it’s in person or through a written message — makes sense. It’s never a good look if others have to seek clarification (especially if it’s through someone else) every time you say something. Don’t feel the need to ramble endlessly, but do provide enough information for folks to fully understand.

Respect others.
This goes along with the previous tip. You don’t have to necessarily like everybody you work with — though it does make the work day a heck of a lot more enjoyable — but you should treat everyone with the same level of respect. Know people’s limits when it comes to joking around and don’t try to push the envelope. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, pull the person aside rather than making a spectacle.

Listen, Linda.
When someone wants to speak to you, are you quick to blurt out your opinion? Or do you listen quietly until they’re done speaking? Hopefully, you said the latter. People want to know they’re being heard completely. So, if you want to send the message that you truly care about what someone has to say, make sure you give them the opportunity to not only speak up but to say finish their thought. Talking over them or cutting them off to give feedback sends the message that their voice isn’t important and that you don’t have time for them. If it’s truly a matter of not having the time at the moment, go out of your way to plan a time you can speak uninterrupted.

When it comes to being professional in the workplace, a little does go a long way. Simply follow these tips and you’ll really start to get noticed. You’ll earn the respect from your peers and start to open doors that lead to more opportunities.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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02.08
2019

5 Tips for Staying Focused at Work

Do you find yourself at a loss when it comes to staying focused at work? Whether you’re in the field or back at the office, distractions abound. No matter where you set up shop, these distractions inhibit productivity and negatively affect your company’s bottom line. So what can be done to keep yourself and your team constantly moving along as efficiently as possible? We have a few tips that help keep us on track and (virtually) distraction-free.

Break down your goals.
Sometimes the lack of focus can stem from a feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead of focusing on the potentially daunting overall task at hand, break things down into smaller, easy-to-digest goals. Have a project to finish by end of the week? Set up a realistic plan for what you aim to accomplish each day in order to reach that final goal, and focus on the day’s agenda instead.

Break down your day.
In the same vein as the previous step, dividing your day into segments helps prevent the risk of the brain fatigue that can come with working on something nonstop. Even the most dedicated workers need to take periodic breaks. Without them, you’ll start to notice your focus dwindling … fast. Make a point to get up every 60–90 minutes to stretch your legs, go for a quick walk, or just get out for some fresh air.

Block out distractions.
Whether or not you realize it, little things — even as simple as the light sound of casual chatter in the background — can cause you to lose focus on the task at hand. If you find yourself constantly veering off track, figure out a way to counter this. It could be as simple as putting on a pair of headphones to maintain focus, or perhaps you’re better suited to finding a quiet corner to work in for certain parts of the day. Whatever the method, put up a buffer between yourself and the distraction.

Block out your schedule.
Are you frequently inundated with meeting requests that throw your plans for a loop? Even though meetings are a necessary part of work life, they can sometimes get in the way of productivity, especially if they’re so abundant you have little time to dedicate to important projects. Set up a specific block of time every day that makes you completely unavailable to calendar requests and use this time to plug away at whatever is top on your list.

Put away your phone.
Our smartphones have become as much of a burden as they have a godsend, particularly in the office. On the one hand, they make sure we’re always connected. But on the other hand, they … well, they make sure we’re always connected. So while you can access your important emails from anywhere, you can also pull up your favorite social network, text messages, or latest gaming addiction. When staying focused is imperative, try closing your phone in a drawer (with the ringer silenced), so you’re not even tempted by the tantalizing lure of a push notification. In the least, practice this method when the threat of an ever-approaching deadline is looming over you.

With just a few slight modifications to your behavior, you’ll start to notice huge changes in your overall focus and productivity, which can quickly translate into increased profits for your business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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02.01
2019

How to Prevent the Flu at Work

As you probably know, we’re right in the heart of flu season. Though it may seem like we’re a little late to the game here, with sub-Arctic temperatures making their way into the country and a polar vortex to reckon with, we thought it a good opportunity to review some of the best practices for fending off illnesses in the workplace.

When your workforce is largely mobile, there can be even more to worry about, as far as tracking germs and bacteria into the office. They may be interacting more with the general public, increasing their exposure to bugs that spread like wildfire, particularly when brought back to the confines of an office.

That being said, even though there’s a good chance you’re already doing these, if any aren’t already a part of your regimen — you know who you are — let this serve as a strongly encouraged reminder to do your part, since illnesses can bring productivity to a screeching halt.

Wash your hands.
You know the drill. If you use the bathroom, please wash your hands. (While you’re at it, it’s really a good idea to just go ahead and make this one a priority year round.) It doesn’t take long and every doorknob, conference room table, company vehicle, punch clock, and colleague/customer hand will be better off as a result.

Watch what you touch.
It’s basically second nature, and you’re probably doing it without realizing, but this time of year, do your best to avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth, and eyes. Consider these ports of entry into your body. Excessive touching essentially lays out a red carpet for germs and welcomes them in with fanfare.

Guard those sneezes.
If you feel a sneeze (or a cough, for that matter) coming on, turn your head away from anyone nearby and unleash into the relative safety of your elbow pit. If one sneaks up on you and your hands become a human sneeze guard, you know the drill: Wash your hands.

Clean up after yourself.
Have you been making a habit of cleaning up your desk on a regular basis? We’re not talking decluttering here. (Though that’s another excellent habit to increase productivity.) At least once a week, it’s a good idea to pick up some antibacterial cleaner and give your desk, keyboard, lamp, etc., a good wipe down.

Go home.
Coming down with an illness? Talk to your team leader (from a safe distance), pack up, and go home to get some rest. If you wake up sick, call to let your superior know, and then stay home. Keep your germs and/or viruses out of the office, away from customers, and just focus on feeling better.

Reach out to your doctor.
If your symptoms are beyond that of a common cold, persistent with no sign of slowing down, or you just need reassurance, it’s time to make a call to your doctor. That’s what they’re there for. Better to have official word from an expert so you can get yourself back on track as soon as possible.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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01.18
2019

5 Tips for Improving Employee Safety

When it comes to safety in the workplace, following a set of guidelines can be a surefire way to make sure your team is staying as safe as possible. Here, we list out a set of five top-level rules that will help keep your whole crew focused on doing their jobs properly.

Never take shortcuts.
In the race to get to the finish line, it may seem like the perfect solution is to skip a step here and there, if it gets you to the end faster, right? But there’s a problem when you take that approach: You may be able to push something off your plate a little faster and bask in the glory of some kudos at your impressive turnaround time, but at what cost? What impact might those skipped steps, small as they may seem, have on the project down the road? If we’re talking the construction world, even the slightest misstep can be a catalyst for a series of detrimental repercussions. Work quickly and efficiently, but be thorough.

Get enough sleep.
Not to sound like an overprotective parent, but: Are you staying up too late at night and heading to work on a half-empty tank? It’s not just that getting the proper amount of sleep is better for your overall health, but when you aren’t fully rested, you can’t think at full capacity, your reaction time slows down, and you become forgetful. All of these can easily lead to dangerous work situations, particularly out in the field. Moral of the story? There’s a simple solution: Get to bed at a decent hour.

Clean up after yourself.
We’re not talking about the clutter on your desk, here. (Though, as we’ve discussed previously, there are plenty of benefits there.) But when you’re dealing with industrial equipment, tools, or even just warehouse stock, it’s hazardous to yourself and others when things aren’t put where they should be. The last thing anyone wants is an injury because a machine wasn’t properly tended to, or boxes of inventory were haphazardly stacked in a rush.

Follow the rules.
This seems a bit obvious, but it warrants revisiting. If you’re working on a construction site and hardhats are required, wear them. If you’re constantly on the road, obey all the signs and signals. (Yes, even when the light’s yellow but you just know there’s plenty of time to make it through … Don’t.) There’s a reason these rules are in place, and it’s potentially costly and dangerous water to tread when you decide it’s okay to take them lightly.

Ask questions.
Drop all misconceptions about how it appears when you ask “too many” questions. Of course, when you work in a specific industry, there’s a certain level of knowledge you are expected to have. But if questions arise, and you’re truly confused about the proper course of actions for a task, go ahead and ask for clarification. It’s better to double check and do it the right way than to wing it and face possible issues that could have been avoided.

Just by following a few simple rules, you’ll find that not only will production run a lot smoother, regardless of your industry, but you’ll be faced with far fewer accidents in the workplace. The environment you provide for your staff will be significantly safer and, as a direct result, morale will be elevated.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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01.11
2019

Tips for Improving Your Company’s Efficiency

Now, more than ever, distractions abound and it’s increasingly easier to find ourselves veering off our planned trajectories. In our day-to-day lives, this isn’t always such a big deal. But when it comes to being at work, staying focused and working on the project(s) at hand is imperative. Efficiency plays a big role in making sure your business stays profitable. So what can you do to remain focused and moving everything forward? Here are some of our top suggestions.

Follow a routine.
We are creatures of habit. While some may suggest routines can swerve into the lane of the mundane, at the office, they can also help keep you on top of your game, operating like a fine-tuned machine. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to map out your entire day and function like a robot of sorts. Rather, have a regularly scheduled plan for knocking out the things you know need to be addressed on a daily basis (e.g. read and respond to emails in the morning, run daily reports, etc.).

Make lists and sort by urgency.
Is there a ton on your to-do list and you’re pretty sure it can’t all be tackled in a single day? Prioritize everything based on urgency to make sure you address the bigger projects that need to be tended to sooner than later.

Stop multitasking.
Hear us out with this one. Yes, the ability to multitask is often touted as a favorable attribute during the interview process. But, juggling a ton of projects at the same time may not be the most effective way to get them done. Often times it’s better to focus your energies on a single project and see it through to completion — or at least as far as you’re able to take it — before moving on to something else. Stopping mid-task, switching directions, and then going back can cause you to lose your focus and momentum, effectively taking up a lot more time.

Minimize meetings.
Does your company have endless numbers of meetings? Ask yourself if they’re all 100 percent necessary or if you can scale them back and combine some when possible. Regular interruptions can hamper workflow, prolonging the amount of time it takes to get things done. Dialing back the number of meetings you regularly hold lets your employees focus on pressing assignments.

Implement a professional service.
Solutions like the ones we provide are a more official means to increase productivity in the workplace. With functionality like GPS Tracking, workers can be held more accountable for their behavior while on the clock. They need to be where they say they are, and there’s no question about the time it takes to get from point A to point B — and whether they took the most efficient route. Wireless Forms allows them to collect important information, including photos and signatures, much quicker than traditional paper forms, so they can proceed on to the next job sooner than before. Plus, the back office receives all the information almost instantly, giving them a chance to process way ahead of schedule. And with Mobile Timekeeping, your crew can clock in no matter where they are, so instead of wasting time going into the office when they don’t need to, they can immediately start the day by focusing on their responsibilities.

As you can see, with just a few adjustments that are easy enough to implement, you can transform your already successful business into an efficiency machine.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar