Did you know that the internet only took four years to reach 50 million subscribers? It took more than 35 years for the radio to reach that many people and more than 10 years for television to expand its reach that far. The vast majority of Americans own a desktop computer, laptop, personal tablet, or cell phone – or all of the above. When it comes down to computer maintenance, however, we are often confused about how to proceed. A computer is like a vehicle: there is a set schedule of routine computer maintenance tasks that will enable you to extend the life of your electronic devices.
Computer experts who proactively maintain IT services for small businesses recommend deleting your browsing history every day along with temporary computer files. Every week, make sure to run your computer’s virus scan software and clean your computer keyboard and monitor. Too often, we get sick from working in an environment that needs to be disinfected: billions of working days are lost every year from work-related illnesses. Small business owners report that as their percentage of employees working from home increases, the rate of sick days decreases proportionally.
In general, you will want to keep your computer clean and free of dust. IT managed services providers tend to run anti-virus programs and to make software updates before they have any issues: proactive computer maintenance is important in any office space. The list of IT services can be extensive: if you are pressed for time or just not comfortable doing security updates on your own, think about outsourcing your business’s IT needs. You can contract with a security pro instead of employing a full-time computer technician, and you can also store client files and sensitive information in servers that are offsite.
The days of having to constantly purchase software upgrades is over: routine computer maintenance and repair is frequently outsourced, and software upgrades are available for a monthly subscription fee. That way, small businesses can use the same software as their larger counterparts without having to spend the money for onsite servers and upkeep. While software programs used to be sold on diskettes, they are now downloadable every month: there is no need to ever have to deal with out-of-date, buggy software. The fact that small business owners have access to the same technology as larger corporations can help them remain competitive without straining their budgets.
The landscape of the American economy is changing, and small business owners report that it’s changing for the better. After a brutal decade of outsourcing, American workers turned to entrepreneurship as a solution to a lack of local jobs. While there has been a recent increase in the amount of jobs that are legitimate work from home positions, job seekers still report feeling frustrated at the lack of local jobs. Some workers enjoy working from home, while others want to work in a dedicated office space; business owners are trying to cut costs, however, and commercial office and retail rentals may start to decline in the next several years.
Computer maintenance is a small part of running a successful office, but it remains an important one. Even if you make use of cloud storage services and outsource your IT computer support, you will still have computers that are dedicated to work. Younger workers are so used to computers that they may not realize that most industry was analog until the late 1990s. Generations of office workers learned to type on typewriters and how to perform accounting procedures on paper spreadsheets instead of electronic ones: Millennials may think that Baby Boomers are slow to learn new computer procedures, but they don’t realize that older workers were trained for a working world that no longer exists. Embrace change and “go with the flow,” but make sure that all computer equipment is in working order and that all virus updates have been applied in advance of any malfunction.