Last Resort Support free virtual online tech help

Have a tech software question?

Instead of wasting time trying to work out how to get round your IT problem, why not ask the experts? Support doesn’t need to be your last resort!

Our virtual event is expanding in May to embrace Marketing alongside HR and hardware support. Colette Bratton from Marketing Angel will be answering your marketing questions, alongside Phil Watson from HR Unlimited, and Paul Deaville from IT Total Solutions. Simply submit your questions viaour Facebook page or LinkedIn and we’ll broadcast the answers live on May 20th between 1:30 and 4:30pm BST.

We’re also opening up 20 minute 1-2-1 slots for more complex questions. You can request your slot via Facebook or LinkedIn.

We’re running our Last Resort Support afternoons every month to help you with #tech #software questions you might have. If you have a problem with #Sage50, #Excel, #Word, #PowerPoint, #Outlook, #Project, #SharePoint, #Teams, #Planner or any of the #Office365 apps, come and join us and we’ll see if we can help you solve it! Or if you’d like to see what any of these applications will do, we’ll show you what it could do for you. There is no charge for these events and we’d love to see you online!

Virtual Last Resort Support

Have a tech software question?

Instead of wasting time trying to work out how to get round your IT problem, why not ask the experts? Support doesn’t need to be your last resort!

We’ve gone virtual and are asking you to submit your questions from our Facebook page or via LinkedIn and we’ll broadcast the answers live on April 15th between 1:30 and 4:30pm BST.

We’re also opening up 20 minute 1-2-1 slots for more complex questions. You can request your slot via Facebook or LinkedIn.

We’re running our Last Resort Support afternoons every month to help you with #tech #software questions you might have. If you have a problem with #Sage50, #Excel, #Word, #PowerPoint, #Outlook, #Project, #SharePoint, #Teams, #Planner or any of the #Office365 apps, come and join us and we’ll see if we can help you solve it! Or if you’d like to see what any of these applications will do, we’ll show you what it could do for you. There is no charge for these events and we’d love to see you online!

Online meeting etiquette

There’s nothing like a pandemic to ‘help’ people use new technology, but whether you use it effectively or not is a different matter.

We’ve been helping companies implement Microsoft Teams for quite a while now, but in the last few weeks there has been a tsunami of people and companies who’ve suddenly realized they need to use Office 365 and Teams in particular. It’s been reported that Microsoft saw an increase of 37% in just one week as people were told to work from home.

There are plenty of free online training courses available to help people get started, here’s a link to the Microsoft Teams help and learning centre https://support.office.com/en-gb/teams

One of the great features in Teams is the ability to hold virtual meetings – a life saver right now! You can schedule meetings from Outlook, or from Teams, but if you want the meeting to show in your Posts timeline it needs to be set up in Teams and reference the channel.

Zoom is another great meeting app with some features that Teams doesn’t have like the ability to see more than 4 people on video in a meeting. But what I wanted to talk about isn’t the application, it’s the use of it.

When you have a virtual room full of people who are not used to interacting online, they may not be aware of how they’re viewed. By this I mean that when you are in a physical meeting and you yawn, people don’t notice so much as they can see much more than your head. When you’re using a mobile phone or webcam, it’s focused entirely on your face, so if you yawn everyone gets a wonderful view of the inside of your mouth. Lovely. And if you pull a face at what someone says, every single person in that virtual meeting can see very clearly what you think. It’s a good idea to think about the impact you want to have and how you want others to remember you. Plus with so many more people using home broadband that’s not always great, you may find your yawn or facial expression frozen in time for everyone else to enjoy. There have been several times I’ve wanted to take a picture and send it to the person but I’m not that brave!

To reiterate a point I made yesterday, if you need to type something when on a call, please mute your mic so it doesn’t pick up what you’re doing, but don’t forget to unmute when you need to speak! By the way, Zoom has a great feature for hosts that can tell if participants are doing other work and not paying attention to the call window. And when it come to camera position, particularly when you have several screens, put your online meeting and webcam on the same screen preferably one you look directly at, not one that’s high up, and please don’t put your online meeting on a high up screen when you’re webcam is lower. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

Taking back control

It’s the little things that start to irritate when you suddenly find yourself AND everyone else having to work from home. Whilst I’ve had jobs over the years that involved working from home part of the time, and I set my business up from home before we had offices, there’s never been a time when all the people I interact with are having to work from home. I am getting calls from the office number, my mobile phone and Teams, plus emails, messages from Messenger, text, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Facebook and Slack. Not to mention the chats and online meetings in Teams, Slack and Zoom. And I’m supposed to get work done when?!

Several years ago I went on a Personal Productivity course run by @Mark Tonks during which he taught us to ‘chunk’ time to get the most out of it so, after a week of feeling like a rabbit in headlights, I’m going back to some tactics that have served me well in the past, and I’m making changes to improve my sanity and productivity thank you #COVID-19.

The first thing I’m doing is turning off distracting sounds on my computer. I don’t need to know when a news article has come in and I don’t want to know when an email has arrived. Similarly, I don’t need to hear another WhatsApp message arriving to add to the 120 unread ones already there, so I’ve turned the volume off on my phone too. This way I have a choice about being able to concentrate when I need to, versus when to read, catch up and respond to others. It’s really no different to my ‘old normal’ day where I would be at a client or in a meeting and not able to be interrupted.

Some of the places you can control sound are in Control Panel (search sound) from the task bar on a Windows PC. And in System Settings, where you can untick ‘Play a sound when a notification arrives’ from the Notification & actions menu.

Whilst I’m here, some online meeting #etiquette when it comes to sound. Working from home brings all sort of additional hazards in the form of the rest of the family, pets and appliances from kettles to vacuum cleaners. Most people are understanding of the fact we can’t stop things from happening in the background at home as our family have nowhere else to go. But we can appreciate that being on a group call with unmuted microphones can make it very difficult to hear what the speaker is saying when microphones pick up background noises, including people tapping away on their keyboard. Out of courtesy to others on a call or group meeting, please mute your microphone until you need to say something. It makes for a better quality call and stops all the ‘who’s making the noise’ comments!

Last Resort Support

Have a tech software question?

Instead of wasting time trying to work out how to get round your IT problem, why not come and ask the experts? Support doesn’t need to be your last resort!

This month’s Last Resort Support has an HR focus. Not only will Tracy Pound be on hand to talk about the HR related aspects of Sage Payroll, but we’ve also got Phil Watson from HR Unlimited with us for the afternoon to answer any of your questions about Human Resources, Employment Law and people management.

We’re running our Last Resort Support afternoons every month to help you with #tech #software questions you might have. If you have a problem with #Sage50, #Excel, #Word, #PowerPoint, #Outlook, #Project, #SharePoint, #Teams, #Planner or any of the #Office365 apps, come along and we’ll see if we can help you solve it! Or if you’d like to see what any of these applications will do, come along and we’ll show you what it could do for you. There is no charge for these events and we’d love to see you!

Last Resort Support

Have a tech software question?

Instead of wasting time trying to work out how to get round your IT problem, why not come and ask the experts? Support doesn’t need to be your last resort!

We’re running our Last Resort Support afternoons every month to help you with #tech #software questions you might have. If you have a problem with #Sage50, #Excel, #Word, #PowerPoint, #Outlook, #Project, #SharePoint, #Teams, #Planner or any of the #Office365 apps, come along and we’ll see if we can help you solve it! Or if you’d like to see what any of these applications will do, come along and we’ll show you what it could do for you. There is no charge for these events and we’d love to see you!

Tamworth Jelly Free Co-Working Event – June 2018

 

The next Tamworth Jelly co-working event will take place on Wednesday 27th June 2018 between 10am and 1pm.

 

All local business people, freelancers and home workers and very welcome to attend for the whole session or just for half an hour. Free tea and coffee will be available and you are welcome to bring your own food. We are also within walking distance to all local amenities in the town centre.

Jelly is a concept that was formed whilst a group of freelancers were eating jelly beans, wondering how they could bring people together to enjoy some company, share ideas, perhaps a bit of collaboration, all whilst working on their own business.  Sometimes working alone can take it’s toll and it is great to have a free opportunity to mix things up a bit.

There are several pay and display car parks dotted around if you cannot find any free parking opportunities.

Tracy Pound Heads to DC to Advocate for the Tech Industry

Workforce Development, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Tax Reform, Broadband Access, New and Emerging Technologies and Global Trade are central to our industry

woman with open doors

This week, our MD Tracy Pound joins the CompTIA DC Fly-In to advocate for technology sector priorities on Capitol Hill during the association’s annual fly-in to Washington, D.C. CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, through its advocacy arm, champions member-driven business and IT priorities that impact all information technology companies – from small managed solutions providers and software developers to large internet companies, equipment manufacturers, and communications service providers.

As a CompTIA DC Fly-In participant, Tracy will meet with Congressional representatives to focus their attention on policies that develop skills for the 21st century workforce; advance tax and regulatory policies that spur innovation; establish U.S. leadership in secure internet-based platform technologies; support new and emerging technology platforms; address availability and delivery of broadband communications; and expand markets and advocate for sensible rules of global trade.

“Innovation in the tech sector is a key force behind a strong 21st century economy. One of the most important issues facing the technology industry today is the availability of a skilled workforce. CompTIA has been strongly supportive of the CHANCE in Tech Act, that streamlines the skilled apprenticeship program for the technology industry. We will share with our elected officials the importance of internships and apprenticeships as an avenue to train the next generation of IT workers and incentivise educators, students, and employers to adopt alternative education models that will spur economic growth.”

“We look forward to the 2018 legislative agenda and remain encouraged by the conversations on Capitol Hill about issues critical to our membership,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA. “We will work closely with congressional leaders to push legislation that boosts the digital economy and fosters American innovation.”

The Fly-In runs February 13-14, 2018. For more information on CompTIA’s advocacy efforts, visit https://www.comptia.org/advocacy.

Tracy Pound is a member of the CompTIA Board of Directors, owns and runs Maximity Ltd, an IT Training and Consultancy firm in the UK, and is a passionate advocate for encouraging people to consider a career in tech especially women, who remain underrepresented in the industry.

CompTIA: Building the Foundation for Technology’s Future

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the world’s leading technology association, with approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, over 100,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued. CompTIA’s unparalleled range of programs foster workforce skills development and generate critical knowledge and insight – building the foundation for technology’s future. Visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About CompTIA Advocacy

Through its advocacy arm, CompTIA champions member-driven business and IT priorities that impact all information technology companies – from small managed solutions providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers. CompTIA gives eyes, ears and a voice to technology companies, informing them of policy developments – and providing the means to do something about it.