The Simply Smarter Blog

How to Build Your Home Office Oasis

Danielle Cerny /

Over the past few years, working from home at least a few days a week has become a regular occurrence. This way of work has shifted family dynamics, as many have turned guest rooms into offices, splurged on top-notch Wi-Fi systems, and even moved homes due to no longer having to commute to work every day. At first, your ideal home office may be as simple as a room that is secluded from traffic or lawnmower noises, but if you really think about making your workspace perfect for productivity, there are clearly other aspects that need to be considered. In my quest to put together my ideal home office, I examined all critical components, from hardworking hardware to a motivating ambiance.

5 Do's and Don'ts of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Heather Fudger /

 

Remember when we all gathered in a conference room for meetings? Fitting as many people as we could at the table, while others grabbed chairs and sat around the outskirts?  Feels just like yesterday, doesn’t it? Well, while meetings will always happen, the way we conduct them has changed, perhaps forever.

We are nearly two years into this global pandemic and there are several things that have changed the business world forever, including the use of digital technologies, flexible working environments and virtual meetings. 

Let’s talk about a few things to consider when attending a virtual meeting. Read on to learn about the 5 Do’s and Don’ts of virtual meeting etiquette.

Get comfortable… the home office may be here to stay

 

It wasn’t very long ago that many of us thought that we would all be returning full-time to the office. COVID-19 cases seemed to be on the decline and businesses were making plans to transition away from hybrid and remote models.

Then Omicron came. And everything turned on its head again.

If you haven’t made investments to make your home office space more comfortable and update your home technology, now is certainly the time. We looked at some critical home office updates you can make to be more effective in the ongoing hybrid/remote work environment, as well as some traditional office suggestions to make life easier for those working from home.

Reimagining the Hybrid Office

Danielle Cerny /

As organizations rekindle onsite work, enabling a culture of collaboration by reimagining office locations to be hybrid by design is more important than ever before. For expert insight into the topic, we interviewed Amy Loomis, Research Director for IDC's worldwide Future of Work market research service in our recent whitepaper, IDC Analyst Connection: Defining a Successful Journey for Office Reentry. In this article, we summarize her main conclusions about the hybrid office phenomena and the steps that need to be taken to foster a collaborative work environment.

Connecting Your Hybrid Workforce Through Unified Communications

Louis Costantini /

A new paradigm of remote and hybrid work is rapidly replacing the traditional standard of a five-day in-office work week. Gartner sees working from home as a “cornerstone of the post-pandemic future of work” and projects that nearly one in five employees will work remotely after the pandemic concludes. Additionally, the 2021 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis says the Covid-19 pandemic has been “a catalyst for business transformation,” with 76% of businesses planning long-term IT changes.

With the rapid increase of this digital transformation, the need to support a hybrid or remote workforce is paramount. But, how do you enable employees to work efficiently with one another – sometimes nationwide or globally, connect with clients virtually, and eliminate communication barriers and productivity issues, all while working to lower IT costs?

Sounds like a lot, right? (It is), but the answer is simple – by implementing a Unified Communications solution.

6 Things to Know When Organizing a Live, Remote Video Event

Naeran Rubio /

 

Earlier this year, 1,044 employees supporting Sharp’s B2B business in the U.S. logged on to Microsoft Teams to attend the company’s annual kickoff event, remotely. The annual event is traditionally an opportunity for Sharp employees from around the country to get a chance to hear from top leadership about the company’s successes of the previous year, priorities for the coming year, as well as re-acquaint themselves with colleagues from across the country. This year, due to COVID-19, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America decided to hold the event virtually, and while it would have been difficult to do the type of in-person networking that a regular event of this kind would normally have, Sharp wanted to at least make the two-hour virtual event as close to an actual in-person event as possible.

Sharp’s media team, who worked hard behind the scenes to ensure that virtual attendees received the best experience possible, gave some tips to help pull off a successful online meeting of this scale.

Leadership Q&A: Shane Coffey Talks Device Security and What Keeps Him Grounded

Naeran Rubio /

At Sharp, we’re always looking for ways to help you think “simply smarter.” So we thought it would be a great idea to feature our leaders on the Simply Smarter blog to get an inside look at what they are working on and their views on the office technology space at large, while learning some fun facts about them too! Today, we’re interviewing Shane Coffey, vice president, product management. We hope you enjoy getting to know Shane!

Avoid Cyber Criminals and Protect your Data While Working from Home

 

Just picture this— you’re a new employee diligently working, and out of the blue, your CEO e-mails you, asking for 10 Amazon gift cards. She says it’s for an important project she’s working on and she needs the gift cards ASAP! The pressure is on and you take a break from your hectic to-do list, and begin ordering the gift cards, until you realize… the person emailing is not your boss after all, but rather, a sneaky cybercriminal. And just like that, you are the newest victim of a phishing scam. How mortifying, right? Well luckily, there are steps that can be taken in order to avoid such embarrassing catastrophes.

3 Tips for Holding a Successful Webinar

Remember when webinars used to be a novelty? Some organizations may have been a bit reticent to make them a part of their routine and implemented them sparingly instead of in-person meetings, while others eschewed them entirely. However, as we’ve continued to shift to a more remote world, their value and necessity as a critical communication tool for businesses has increased. Now more than ever, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can use webinars to highlight their solutions and expertise in a variety of subjects while also reaching and growing their current audience. Because they will likely be a part of our professional and personal lives for the foreseeable future, here are three tips to ensure you have the right content and technology so your next webinar runs smoothly.

Don’t Be That Guy: Remote Meeting Etiquette 101

Melanie Camacho /

 

You know him.  He’s that guy in your remote meetings that just can’t get it together. You really can’t blame him. After all, he’s not used to meeting this way. Like most of us, ever since stay-at-home orders were announced, he’s been reluctantly living the work-from-home life. The conference room is now his bedroom, the kids are his new “co-workers” and his fur baby barks at every Amazon package delivered at the front door. Bless. His. Heart.

I must confess, I’ve been “that guy” more times than I’m willing to admit. Nevertheless, it’s important to uphold basic meeting etiquette. Learning from others’ mistakes is a powerful thing, so that’s why I’m sharing some remote meeting blunders from familiar characters you’ve probably met along the way.

It’s 2021 Already, Let’s Communicate!

Bob Madaio /




Most "office workers"  work to communicate and collaborate with information - with our peers, with our partners and with our customers. Organizations that do this effectively make better, faster decisions and have a shared understanding of the business environment. And, they tend to “win” in the market. In this Simply Smarter blog, Sharp's VP of Marketing Bob Madaio talks about the challenges to communicate and collaborate in the modern work environment and how organizations can leverage technology to overcome those challenges.

Finding a New Balance in Today’s Hybrid Workplace

Heather Fudger /

 

In this new world of work, organizations have had to make many adjustments to the way people work.  We have gone from an office full of people prior to the pandemic, to people working primarily from their homes in the midst of the pandemic, and now in the new normal, back to an environment where some people are physically in their offices, while others are working remotely.  Today’s workplace is also tomorrow’s workplace – a hybrid balance of working in the office and remotely.

Why IT Security is Important for the Remote Worker

Shane Coffey /

 

As employees continue to do their jobs efficiently and effectively from remote locations, some companies are beginning to view the work-from-home model as longer-term, while others have embraced a hybrid model in which employees split time between home and office. While there are many benefits to remote work for both employer and employee, there are some downsides as well – and one of those is the need to provide IT services to a remote workforce.