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- George Costanza
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The Monthly Download—February 2024

Notifications: Striking a balance at work and home

Notifications have become a part of our daily lives. Whether it’s the ping of a new email, a message from a colleague on Teams, or a meeting reminder on your calendar, these little nudges constantly battle for our attention.

But are we reaching a tipping point with notifications?

According to recent research, the answer might be a big “YES”. The study revealed that the ping, ping, ping of notifications from collaboration tools is not only a distraction at work but is also taking a toll on our precious work-life balance.

So, why are notifications becoming a nuisance, and what can we do about it?

We’re living in the era of collaboration tools. From video conferencing to project
management platforms, we rely on these tools to stay connected and productive.

But… the more tools we use, the more notifications flood our screens.

During the traditional 9-5, the constant barrage of notifications can derail focus and productivity. But what’s annoying is when notifications creep into our downtime. One in three workers report that notifications outside of working hours have spiked over the past year.

As a society, we’ve created a situation where notifications disrupt our relaxation and family time. A third of young workers aged 21-34 struggle to fully enjoy time with loved ones due to work notifications. And that may put you at risk of losing your best people.

Here’s our three step take on tackling the notifications dilemma:

  1. Set clear boundaries: Make it understood that messages should be replied to within working hours. Practice what you preach by not sending messages outside of your own working hours
    (schedule send where possible).
  2. Reduce tool overload: Evaluate the collaboration tools you use. Streamline where possible.
  3. Empower your employees: Teach them to use Do Not Disturb and how to mute non-urgent notifications.

While technology has revolutionized the way we work, it shouldn’t come at the cost of our well-being.

If we can help you and your team strike a better balance, Get in touch.

What's happening at RCT this month?

Have you heard about Lunar Voice? A trusted local provider of smart Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions right here in SK. As an innovative branch of Rivercity Technology Services Ltd., Lunar Voice empowers small businesses with reliable, affordable, and feature-rich communication services tailored to your unique needs. Get in touch to find out more, and stay connected with Canadian-hosted, no contract VoIP solutions!

Business gadget of the month

Livescribe Echo 2 smart pen: Sometimes, taking notes with pen and paper is simply easier. You may be on the go, in a meeting without your laptop, or it might just help you think better.

But when you’re jotting down your notes, wouldn’t it be great if your pen remembered every stroke and saved a digital copy too? That’s what this smart pen does. Not only that, but you can record audio on it too and play back what was being said when you made a specific note. Smart.

$119.99 from Amazon.

Technology Update

Nearby sharing is about to become easier in Windows 11

Microsoft is testing an update that will streamline its nearby sharing feature in Windows 11.

If tests go well, when you enable nearby sharing through quick settings, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will automatically be enabled too if they’re switched off. If you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, nearby sharing will also turn off.

Tech facts

  • 810 million websites use WordPress as their CMS (Content Management System). That’s 43% of all websites on the internet. And more than 500 sites are built using WordPress every day
  • 56.5% of all email is spam. Not all of this gets through to us, thanks to junk mail filters, but more than a third of our inbox is spam email.
  • The US has most active Twitter (X) users at 77.75 million. Japan comes in second, with 58.2 million, and India is third, with 24.45 million.

Inspirational quote of the month

You don’t have to be a genius or a
visionary or even a college graduate
to be successful. You just need a
framework and a dream

—Michael Dell, CEO of Dell

A New Month, A New Tech Quiz

1) Which AI company is considering making its own AI chip?

2) How old will Google turn later this year?

3) Which social media platform wants to go ad-free?

4) In which year did the first virtual event take place?

5) What was the first mobile phone with internet connectivity?

The answers are below.

  1. Open AI
  2. 26
  3. X (Twitter)
  4. 1993 (it was a virtual trade show)
  5. The Nokia 9000 Communicator, back in 1996

New to Microsoft 365

Voice Access takes over from Windows speech recognition.

Microsoft has officially deprecated Windows speech recognition, which means there will be no further updates for the feature. It’s being replaced by Voice Access, which is available in Windows 11 version 22H2 or later.

Voice Access has more capabilities as well as supporting more dialects. If you aren’t using Windows 11, speech recognition will still work.

For any help or advice, get in touch. It’s what we do.

Rivercity Tech
Article Written by Rivercity Tech

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Need IT Services or Cybersecurity for your business? Have tech questons? Contact us today, we'd love to help you!
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