January 2022

How to Help Employee Mental Health During COVID

At the onset of the pandemic, companies throughout Canada kept their operations through remote work. Suddenly, countless Canadians across the country were now working from home, a notable change from their ordinary workday that typically involved commutes to and from the office.

Many welcomed these changes, finding plenty of humour in their new workday habits. PJs and sweats replaced the formal workwear, the water cooler was replaced by group calls and chats, while family and pets would routinely interrupt the average workday, often with hilarious results.

However, more than 16 months into the pandemic, a clearer picture is being painted about the impact of working from home. Many people are finding their personal and family lives are becoming negatively affected by remote working.

How the Pandemic is Impacting Employee Mental Health

Employees are becoming more stressed from the remote work life, as it is more challenging to find the right work-life balance when you work from home. Interruptions to work are not as funny as they once were, it’s harder to find personal boundaries, while a lack of social interaction is causing many to feel incredibly isolated.

In fact, a recent study suggests that as much as 68% of Canadians are struggling with mental health problems during the pandemic. One in five of these people believe isolation is the main cause for increased mental health issues.

Moreover, many employees are feeling anxious over their employers’ plans to return to the workplace. Many even feel that their employer doesn’t have any plan in place for an eventual return to the office.

So, whether employees are enjoying remote working or longing for a return to the workplace, it’s clear that pandemic continues to have an enormous impact on employee mental health.

Tips for How to Improve Workplace Mental Health

There are many things that a company can do to help improve the mental health of their remote workforce during the pandemic.

Try to Establish (and Respect) Boundaries

The first is one that many are struggling with – respect the boundaries that come with working from home. This means not making zoom calls at unexpected hours, dropping sudden deadlines on staff or expecting them to work during weekends.

These boundaries apply at home too. You may need to explain to your family that despite being at home, you are still working so require some peace and quiet to do your work. Explain to your partner and children that you are still working and can’t be constantly disturbed.

Try to Create a Dedicated Workspace

Creating a dedicated workspace is a great way to strike a suitable work-life balance. Even just a small part of a room that is dedicated to working can help you get into the right mindset for working, creating a better environment for a productive day of work.

Avoiding distractions is also a good idea. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you should be doing house chores all the time. It can be tempting to smash out a few chores throughout the workday, yet these often snowball into unwanted distractions that lower productivity. Stay focused on work and you will feel all the better for it!

Try to Maintain Social Interactions With Co-Workers

Finally, do not forget to try and maintain your work social life. Just because you cannot see your co-workers every day does not mean you cannot remain connected – try starting a group chat or regular zoom calls to help keep open lines of communication.

This helps alleviate the feelings of isolation while allowi8ng you all to stay on top of your work – encourage each other as best you can!

The Importance of Hardware Technical Audit for Your Business

During the global pandemic, many employees found themselves taking office hardware home for remote work. Companies are now finding that much of their major hardware, from laptops to smartphones, are now being used off-site.

This does make tracking IT equipment more challenging, especially when it’s time for a hardware technical audit. Many businesses are looking to take advantage of quieter offices by implementing their hardware technical audits, minimizing the disruption this process may cause.

Of course, completing a hardware technical audit is more challenging with so many remote workers. However, that doesn’t mean that this essential component of asset maintenance should be overlooked.

What is a FREE IT Hardware Technical Audit?

A hardware technical audit is a process where a company’s IT hardware is audited to ensure everything is working as it should be. It covers all major hardware used in IT, including computers, servers, modems, access points, smartphones, tablets etc.

Additionally, our FREE IT hardware audit reviews other essential components including firewalls, client software, and network performance.

By auditing the hardware, a company can determine the overall performance of their assets and whether any improvements and savings can be made.

What are the Benefits of a Hardware Technical Audit?

Our FREE IT Assessments for hardware provide many advantages for any business, no matter the size and scope of their IT systems. Whether it’s a few computers or an entire office, technical hardware audits are essential for maintaining good and working IT systems.

Effective Hardware Utilization

When auditing computer hardware, you can determine the exact performance of each computer, including RAM, CPU, and hard drive usage. By identifying their performance, you can then see where possible improvements can be made, be it through upgrades or replacements.

This is one of the best ways of knowing whether your computer hardware is outdated or underperforming and where to make the necessary improvements. Doing so will see a large increase in productivity, as working with fully optimized computer hardware will greatly increase most work processes.

Up to Date Software and Firewall

Audits determine what type of software your computers are using and whether they might need updating. Everything from your operating system to your firewall requires frequent updates to ensure they are secure and working efficiently.

Data is one of your most valuable assets, so by keeping on top of antivirus and malware threats, you ensure this has the appropriate level of security.

IT departments use various types of software, so it’s vital to keep these up to date to ensure you’re getting maximum value from them, highlighting the importance of regular audits to keep on top of this.

A Secure and Functional Network

Computer networks require ongoing maintenance to keep them secure and fully functional, and a hardware technical audit is the most effective form of routine maintenance.

For instance, a network traffic analysis records and reviews all network traffic data, allowing you to analyze the overall performance and security of network operations. Bandwidth usage and throughput is another network component that can be further analyzed through a FREE IT Assessment, letting you see a clear picture of overall bandwidth usage and whether improvements can be made.