If you’re working from home, you know how tough it can be to make the transition from an office to your dining room table. Productivity expert Brett Ulrich has some tips for making your home workspace just as productive as the office.
Brett Ulrich advises choosing one place in your home as your main work station. While it can be tempting to just carry your laptop from place to place, you’ll want a clear separation between your living space and your working space.
Secondly, Brett Ulrich recommends decorating your workspace. You’ve likely injected some of your own personality into your space at work, and you should do the same at home. Whether that means a picture of your family on your desk, some notebooks and pens in your favorite colors, or setting up an essential oil diffuser, Brett Ulrich says that you should like sitting down at your workspace.
Next, Brett Ulrich recommends clearing the clutter from your area. This may mean talking to your family about making your work space your own. Brett Ulrich says that when your workspace becomes cluttered, it can be hard to focus on the task at hand. Separating your home life paperwork from your work life paperwork is an important part of keeping your work space streamlined, according to Brett Ulrich.
Brett Ulrich recommends making your work space as private as possible. This can be tough when you’re at home, especially if you’re working in an area without a door. If you can, use headphones to help you focus, and if you need to, close blinds or curtains to help you stay focused. Brett Ulrich recommends talking with your family before taking private phone calls so they know to respect your space.
Lastly, Brett Ulrich recommends thinking about the lighting in your workspace. Natural lighting can be great, and lamps can help too. Your lighting should be soft but should keep you alert, especially if you often have to work at night. The florescent lighting in an office can work wonders in keeping you awake and focused, and it can be tough to replicate this type of light at home. If you find that you’re struggling to focus while working at home (especially when the work day drags on), changing up your lighting can go a long way in helping you feel alert and awake, according to Brett Ulrich.
Brett Ulrich recommends taking inventory of your work at home situation and figuring out what’s working for you – and what isn’t. Working from home is new for many people, and it’s ok if you need to change your current set up to create a more productive space.
As Students Return to School, Virtual Learning Becomes Critical, Brett Ulrich Suggests
The COVID-19 pandemic has plagued the United States since March. Although the number of positive cases continues to climb, many states are talking about sending students back to school in the fall. Using collaborative technology will make it possible to provide virtual learning opportunities for those who are not ready to go back into the classroom. Brett Ulrich, a senior IT consultant at Janus Technology, explores the importance of using such collaborative technology.
In the classroom, students have the ability to work in teams. It teaches them the importance of collaborating on various projects. However, with the fears of the pandemic still looming, working closely in teams may not be possible. Brett Aaron Ulrich explains that, whether in the classroom or at home, various collaborative technologies can be utilized.
Brett Ulrich explains that Microsoft has offered a wide array of software programs to help with collaboration for years. Microsoft 360 enables spreadsheets, documents, PowerPoint presentations, and more to be shared by multiple users. It would allow students to access the document in real-time while each contributing something different to the project.
Another technology that Brett Ulrich feels is important is Microsoft Teams. This allows for chats and meetings to take place. It would allow students to have the necessary level of engagement to talk about projects. Particularly if students are using a virtual environment to return to school, it would give them face-to-face time with their peers.
Additionally, Brett Aaron Ulrich explains that Microsoft Teams makes it easier for students to work together. Various school districts have been using the software already with a significant amount of success. Apps and workflows can be incorporated into the environment, ensuring that teachers can choose the way that students learn. Science, math, and other subjects can be taught in a way that allows students to learn through instruction as opposed to reading a textbook or an e-book.
Students and parents alike want to make sure that the classroom is still interactive. If students return to school, field trips may not happen. Close groups may not happen. Even when masks are worn, Brett Ulrich expects that teachers and school administrators are going to require social distancing within the classroom.
As such, Brett Ulrich explains that it’s important to supplement with various technologies that help to provide the best possible experience. Even beyond Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 360, there are specialized hardware and software solutions. Whiteboards can be drawn on virtually by multiple users at the same time. Apps for virtually every subject are available to ensure that students get the interactive and collaborative learning experience that they expect.
Brett Aaron Ulrich recommends that every parent identify what’s right for their student and explore virtual learning combined with new technologies to ensure that the learning experience is sufficient.
Various Software Programs Can help to Manage Client Expectations, According to Brett Ulrich
Client expectations have to be managed at all times. When there’s a greater level of communication, clients know what’s happening and when. It delivers higher satisfaction and ensures that clients remain loyal to a brand. Brett Ulrich, a Senior Consultant at Janus Technology, explains that there are various technologies that can assist.
One of the first ways to manage client expectations is to get to know the client better. CRM or customer relationship management software can be used to track information more effectively. It can actually follow the entire life of the relationship, starting from lead to purchase. Maintaining history ensures that clients are being nurtured, explains Brett Ulrich.
Additionally, Brett Ulrich recommends that companies be as transparent as possible. Clients want to know what’s going on within a company. If the supply chain has been impacted, and Brett Ulrich gives the example of the pandemic, clients need to be communicated with. If anything is going to impact the quality that the client receives or the timeframe in which they receive it, the client needs to know.
It is also important for the support team to have clear standards established. It is impossible for client expectations to be managed if employees don’t understand what those expectations are and how to manage them. This is when Brett Ulrich explores the importance of using various forms of technology.
Often, one department doesn’t know what the other department is doing. Technology can help to bring the various departments together. This includes using such programs as enterprise resource planning (ERP) to ensure that data is being shared properly. It also minimizes the amount of data entry being performed within each department.
Microsoft 360 and cloud technology can also lead to a higher level of collaboration. Brett Ulrich has been a component of Microsoft products for years. He explains how it’s easier for people to work on the same project or the same document in real-time. It ensures that departments are aware of what’s happening across the company to maintain transparency with clients.
Brett Ulrich also explains that managing client expectations using technology ensures that clients are receiving the correct amount of communication. It will be easy to see when a client has received an email or a phone call when using CRM software. Otherwise, it’s possible that they could receive similar emails or phone calls from multiple departments. When such things happen, it can demonstrate that the company is disjointed – and that’s when the client begins to question how organized the company truly is.
Brett Ulrich has consulted with a number of companies, large and small, to establish the latest technology solutions to address managing client expectations and various other obstacles found across different industries. Brett Ulrich recommends that companies sit down and talk with a technology consultant to discuss what software can be implemented to improve operations and enhance communication.
Messaging Platforms Focus on Improved Customer Service in Ecommerce, Brett Ulrich Explains
Today’s consumer demands more. Research has shown that consumers want an enhanced customer experience. This includes communication with the brand even before making a purchase. Brett Ulrich, a Senior Consultant at Janus Technology, explains how messaging platforms can be beneficial.
Brett Ulrich explains that there are a number of advanced tech features that can be used with eCommerce. Messaging platforms allow consumers to ask questions. Popular questions include asking about product dimensions, colors, and availability.
If consumers cannot find information readily on a website, they will look to message the brand. If a messaging option isn’t available, they’ll often move onto the competition. Brett Ulrich identifies that having a messaging platform in place can improve conversion rates.
Additionally, advanced messaging platforms can be used to start a conversation with a consumer. If a person is browsing a site, it allows a customer service agent to initiate a conversation. It can allow for a relationship to be started immediately. Further, consumers can feel more confident about choosing one brand over another.
Brett Ulrich identifies that it’s important to meet and exceed customer expectations. In eCommerce, message platforms are an affordable way to do this. It is also possible to add to the platforms. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to create a chatbot. This allows for common questions to be answered automatically. It can provide answers quickly without having to assign a customer service agent to the task.
Brett Ulrich has identified that platforms have evolved considerably. Many are capable of machine learning. This can learn from consumers and what kinds of questions are being asked. It can make it easier to build better product descriptions. Further, it can ensure that businesses understand how the needs of their target audience is changing, allowing for improved product development, better marketing strategies, and more.
While Brett Ulrich has helped to deploy a number of programs for Fortune 1000 companies, he explains that many of the projects are customized. He explains that it’s all about learning about what the company does, who they want to message, and how much of the process needs to be automated. This allows for the right technology to be put into place.
In addition to messaging platforms, there are other ways to support eCommerce. It’s all about learning about ways to boost productivity and enhance the customer experience. In many instances, the messaging is just the beginning. It makes it easier to learn about other expectations.
Brett Ulrich urges businesses of all sizes to explore the use of messaging platforms when they’re involved in eCommerce. It can improve communication, build lasting relationships, and increase revenue. Often, it’s an investment that pays for itself because of getting to know the consumer on a deeper level.
How Those Working from Home Can Embrace New Technology to Get the Job Done, According to Brett Ulrich
Many businesses are forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, those same businesses are learning how they can remain operational by allowing employees to stay at home and work. With the right technology, Brett Ulrich says that it’s possible to stay working from home. As a senior consultant at Janus Technology, Ulrich is responsible for showing companies how to make the most out of various platforms and IT architecture.
If a business is already based in the cloud, there’s no need to go to a physical location to access the server. Instead, employees can be given log-in credentials. If there’s an internet connection where an employee is, they have the ability to access the same information as though they were in the office.
Brett Ulrich talks about some of the technology that can make it even easier for an employee to stay at home. Scanners can be used to let employees upload any physical paperwork. This includes receipts, documents that require wet signatures, and more. Additionally, web cameras can be used to ensure that live video meetings are possible. It allows for collaboration among co-workers as well as for business meetings with clients.
Additionally, SaaS has become popular. Also known as software as a service, this allows businesses to have the necessary programs they need. Brett Ulrich explains that it can be an affordable solution that gives access as needed. Employees all across an area can use the same software, see the same data in real-time, all without being inside of the office.
Brett Ulrich estimates that the pandemic has proven to businesses that they can offer their employees a significant amount of flexibility. Even when it is safe to get together in groups of 10 or more, the office workspace may be changed forever. Research has shown that people are more productive when they are in a comfortable environment. As such, many have proven that they can get more done in their home than in the office. They’re subject to fewer interruptions and they can have more flexibility within their workday.
In order for people to be functional in a stay-at-home atmosphere for the long-term, Brett Ulrich suggests that there’s an investment in technology. An IT infrastructure should be built to ensure that there is a sufficient firewall in place. Further, he recommends that businesses invest in configuration management suites to help with the access to data.
With collaboration and messaging tools, employees can be anywhere in the world and still have morning meetings, group brainstorms, and more.
Brett Ulrich continues to offer consultations to discuss IT infrastructure solutions and software applications that can make it even easier to work from home, even after the pandemic is long gone.
The Pandemic Has Lead Companies Scrambling to Provide Adequate Customer Service, Says Brett Ulrich
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to fail due to their inability to manage client expectations. Although some say that clients need to expect less, that is not the best way to provide premier customer service. Brett Aaron Ulrich, a senior consultant at Janus Technology, recommends that companies work to manage client expectations throughout the pandemic using a few strategies.
Brett Ulrich suggests that the first thing a company does is to set clear deliverables. Many companies are adjusting the verbiage on their homepage to talk about what they’re doing differently in the pandemic. Clients need to understand that it’s not going to be business as usual. However, Brett Ulrich also identifies that it means that clients need to know how things are going to be different.
Companies that are thriving right now are the ones that are communicating effectively through all channels. Brett Ulrich recommends that companies err on the side of over-communicating with their clients to ensure that they understand how things are changing. Communication should happen on the company website, on social media, and through emails. When a client is directly impacted by what is going on, it should also involve a phone call.
Customers, logically, understand that there is a pandemic going on. They know that they are going to have to adjust their expectations. However, if a company does not manage expectations effectively, it can lead to a loss of trust. Companies, therefore, have to manage expectations, says Brett Ulrich.
Part of managing expectations is inviting customers in on what’s happening within operations. Brett Ulrich recommends that companies are as transparent as possible. This includes identifying where their product supply chain comes from, how timelines can be impacted, and more. In many instances, it is better to under-promise and over-deliver to ensure that expectations are taken care of. Otherwise, when the pandemic is over, the companies that were unable to manage expectations are going to be at a loss for clients.
People demand good customer service in today’s society, pandemic or not. Brett Ulrich highlights a number of companies that have figured out how to adapt. They’ve automated more services online to compensate for extended hold times on the phone. They’ve adjusted the way that they interact with customers to create a contact-less handoff. Expectations are not only being managed but also communicated to customers and the general public.
Brett Ulrich recommends that all companies pause to look at the way that they are communicating with clients to ensure that expectations are being managed in the best way possible.
This pandemic is not an easy period for anyone, but that does not mean there is nothing to be done for your state of mind. Brett Ulrich has tips to help stay home and stay sane.
A good number of people, thanks to the recent covid-19 pandemic, are stuck working at home, if they are even able to work. Self-isolation, spending most of your time indoors, and not seeing the people you normally do in person can drive a person mad, but no matter how stir crazy this kind of thing can make a person, people are going to need to stay safe for the interim. If you need help staying safe and sane while you work from home, Brett Ulrich has some handy tips to cope.
Brett Ulrich: How to Keep Sane While Working from Home
The first thing you need to do is to keep to a schedule. Whether it be the schedule you held while you were working on site or whether you want to have a schedule that fits your comfort (looking at you, night owls), working at the same time of day, every work day, helps keep you regular and gives you a pattern to follow. If you have people living in the same place as you, you also need to set up boundaries, Brett Ulrich points out. This is a new thing for you and yours, in all likelihood, and you need to set things up so that none of you infringe on each other’s personal space or comfort, Brett Ulrich suggests. Thus, having a space where you work in your home that is separate from other people, as well as places where you may otherwise congregate, will help you focus, Brett Ulrich notes.
You also need to remember to care for yourself. Brett Ulrich notes that it is quite easy to let your personal hygiene and appearance go to the dogs, as you do not need to dress for success like you usually have to in a professional business setting. You should also take into account comfort — while your work chair may have been a dream, you may not have a chair to replicate that. Brett Ulrich recommends that you look into a chair that can make it bearable to sit at your home desk for hours a day.
And of course, do not forget to hydrate! This is something you should be doing regardless of if you are working from home or not, but all too often Brett Ulrich sees people not take care to drink some water on the regular. You should hydrate yourself once an hour ideally. If you take care of yourself in this way at this rate, you should be right as rain (no pun intended).