Slow down: How adjusting service ticket behaviors can improve end user satisfaction

It’s tempting, in the heat of the typical support technician’s day, to enter minimal information in service tickets to speed resolution. After all, closing tickets quickly is the goal, right? Fifteen years of industry consulting experience, however, has taught me the opposite is true. It’s important to take a little time to compose and update tickets properly.

Clients and end users will prove better satisfied, less angry and happier, though, if technicians take a moment to properly structure service tickets, enter thoughtful status updates and finish resolving issues by specifying resolution information that proves critical in building an effective knowledge base potentially enabling a teammate to more quickly solve the same issue in the future.

In this TechRepublic Premium article technicians can learn how to properly structure service tickets, gain appreciative customers and end users, and CSAT ratings which will reward your efforts.

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Hiring Kit: Mobile Application Developer

For much of the world’s population, mobile devices serve as the primary tool for getting things done. Whether its banking, scheduling meetings, buying new clothes, or ordering pizza, the mobile smartphone, running a specifically designed application, can do it. Businesses in practically any industry simply must have a presence on mobile devices or they will suffer from a considerable competitive disadvantage.

Creating, designing, developing, and implementing apps for an increasingly mobile world is the job of the Mobile Application Developer. Like all application developers, the best candidates for such a position will have impeccable programming skills, but also something more. Mobile Application Developer recruiting also requires a search for candidates with knowledge of how mobile devices and mobile culture work. This knowledge does not always come from work experience, sometimes life experience may play a more important role.

Finding and recruiting a skillset that combines high-level programming skills with intricate and intimate knowledge of mobile devices will require a comprehensive hiring process. This Hiring Kit: Mobile Application Developer, from TechRepublic Premium, provides an adjustable framework your business, a job description, Want Advertisement, interview questions and analysis.

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Life after lockdown: Your office job will never be the same–here’s what to expect (cover story PDF)

Reworking work: When you return to the office everything will look very different, and that’s just the beginning of a set of changes to how and why we work in offices.

This download provides the magazine version of the article as a free PDF for registered TechRepublic and ZDNet members. The online version of this story is available here.

From the story:

Peter van Woerkum has spent the past few weeks working in, and fine-tuning, what could turn out to be something very like the office of the future: the office of our coronavirus-altered future, that is.

He takes the lift (in which only two employees are allowed at a time) then walks clockwise to reception and grabs a recycled paper mat to cover his desk while he works. He makes his way through the now extra-roomy office--the firm has removed furniture to avoid clutter--to a workspace, which has, of course, been thoroughly cleaned overnight.

He brings his own keyboard, mouse, and laptop. Near his desk, there are marks on the floor indicating how close his colleagues should stand if they fancy coming over for a chat. If he needs the bathroom, he has to follow a specific route designed to avoid bumping into other workers. And his keyring has a new addition: a copper token that he can use to press buttons and open doors without touching any surfaces.

Since mid-March, Cushman and Wakefield, the real estate company where van Woerkum is chief operating officer, has been thinking about the transformation that the office will need to go through as employees start returning to work. Dubbed the "six-feet office", the project vizualises a workspace that respects the social distancing required to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Initially, van Woerkum trialled the idea with a group of five, but the workplace has now been opened to up to 20 employees.

"When we launched, everybody immediately got extremely excited about the fact that there was a prospect of going back to the office at some point, and in a safe way," van Woerkum says. "The feedback we've had so far has been that employees are really happy to be back in the office, and that there is some assurance that the company is taking care of their safety."

Of course, staff needed some time to adapt. It might be a bit awkward at first to maintain a two-metre distance with your colleagues while catching up on a Monday morning, and van Woerkum stresses that the six-feet office is by no means a finished product, and that he is testing new technology daily to further improve the new office layout.

His latest experiment, for instance, has consisted of setting up beacons that can track the flow of people in the building. But one thing he is sure of is that the type of set-up being developed by Cushman and Wakefield is about to become the norm, for lots of companies.

Over the past two months, with national lockdowns becoming the new normal, companies have focused their efforts on making a rapid transition to remote working, while still keeping their companies afloat in the midst of an epidemic.

But now, governments are trying to restart their nations' economies and return to some sort of normality. At some point in the next few months, a return to the physical office is looking more likely, at least for some. But how to manage that safely is a big challenge.

With a deadly virus still going around, how do we ensure employee safety at work? If this is the end of the close-collaboration, desk-to-desk working model, what will the office floor – and building – look like? And, if most employees are now effectively working from home and may be reluctant to return, what do we even need an office for?

For architects, interior designers or workplace consultants, these challenges are as exciting as they are unprecedented. For businesses, they are intimidatingly pressing. It is over the next few months, sometimes even weeks, that the office of the future is going to have to be built.

Download the PDF to read the rest of the story.

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Apple iOS 13: A cheat sheet (free PDF)

Apple unveiled iOS 13 at its June 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Apple wasted no time getting into the nitty-gritty details of the new mobile operating system, and had quite a few surprises like splitting up support for iPad and iPhone into their own unique OSes with separate features for the first time since the iPad was released.

From the cheat sheet

This cheat sheet looks at specific features, availability, compatible devices, and release history.


iOS 13 is the 13th major iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system called iOS. The OS can run on the following iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices that are available as of this writing.

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Cheat sheet: Google Meet video-conferencing and chat app (free PDF)

Video-conferencing software continues to act as the glue that binds organizations together in the remote-working landscape, with innumerable platform providers vying for our attention. This includes advertising-to-cloud-computing giant Google, which offers its Google Meet video-conferencing solution as part of its G Suite package as well as a standalone service for anyone with a Gmail address.

Google Meet is an enterprise video-conferencing service that supports chat, one-on-one video calls and group video meetings. It is basically Google’s answer to video-conferencing and chat apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which are considered rival services.

If you’re looking to find out more on what Meet has to offer, and whether it’s a viable video-conferencing solution for your business, this free PDF download from TechRepublic is here to tell you what you need to know.

In the download:

  • What is Google Meet?
  • How do I use Google Meet?
  • Is Google Meet free?
  • Will I need G Suite to use Google Meet after September 30?
  • What other features does Google Meet have?
  • What is the difference between Google Meet, Hangouts and Google Duo?
  • What are Google Meet’s main competitors?
  • And more!

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Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx and Skype: Choosing the right video-conferencing apps for you

Businesses forced to work remotely due to coronavirus have relied heavily on video-conferencing software over the past few months. With companies looking for tools that can support staff in their roles and help them maintain contact with colleagues, the market for video chat and collaboration apps has heated up significantly.

Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have perhaps been the most closely contending services vying for users in recent weeks. Each provider has been keeping a watchful eye on their rivals and releasing updates on what seems to have become a near-weekly basis, with the view to giving them an edge over the competition. The good news for users is that the continual one-upmanship has led platform providers to improve security, add new features and make some of their services free.Of course, Zoom, Microsoft and Google aren’t the only companies competing in this space – far from it. There are a number of well-established providers that have been offering video-conferencing software for years, with equally rich feature sets. This includes Cisco’s WebEx – a webinar platform long-favored by organizations all over the world – as well as BlueJeans, which was recently snapped up by Verizon to become part of the telecom company’s 5G portfolio.

Each video-conferencing service comes with its own list of pros and cons, as well as a variation in what it offers. Still, with a little research you can ensure that you are selecting the right service for your businesses’ particular requirements.

This free PDF download from TechRepublic will help you decide which video conferencing platform is right for your business needs. The below table – which is by no means exhaustive – represents six commonly used video-conferencing platforms and chat apps, alongside some of the features worth considering when shopping around.

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Ergonomics policy

A safe and healthy work environment provides the foundation for all employees to be at their most productive. Not only does it promote productivity in the workforce, it also helps prevent accidents, lawsuits, and in extreme cases, serious injury and potentially loss of life. This policy establishes procedures to help ensure a safe, ergonomically healthy environment.

To create such an environment, the company must provide sound, safe, and functioning equipment, furniture, fixtures, and tools that allow employees to perform their duties in the most productive way possible without risking their safety or their health. A clear and robust ergonomic policy establishes the parameters of a safe and healthy work environment and should be part of every organization’s standard policies and procedures.

From the policy:


The company is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees, contractors, visitors, customers, and vendors in every facility and vehicle it operates. To achieve this goal, the company has established proactive procedures, policies, and rules designed to ensure, to the best of its ability, the ergonomic safety of every person working at one of the company’s facilities or operating a company vehicle. All employees are expected to follow these procedures, policies, and rules at all times.

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Box impact – by the numbers

How exactly does Box transform businesses?

Research by Forrester Consulting lays out the answer in solid metrics. Read The Total Economic Impact™ of Box to discover the potential return on investment of our single, secure content management platform.

Among the highlights, those Box customers with a headcount of 8,000 achieved:

  • 405% ROI with Box — with full investment returns in less than 2 months
  • $2.4M in IT savings by retiring storage and legacy enterprise content management
  • 20% efficiency increase with smarter ways to work
  • $3M saved from potential data losses with stronger security and compliance

Get the full study to learn how teams keep work secure and get more done with Box. 

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Hiring Kit: Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance Engineers apply their technical expertise and skills to oversee the entire software development lifecycle and to verify the quality of the product and the overall user experience against a checklist specified by the client. Finding and hiring individuals with the right technical expertise, system experience, and ability to apply that expertise to software development and testing will require thorough recruiting and candidate vetting.

This Hiring Kit: Quality Assurance Engineer, from TechRepublic Premium, provides an adjustable framework your business can use to find, recruit, and ultimately hire the right person for the job.

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