Archive

Article: How Music can Boost Productivity

How many of us put a music on whilst we are working? I certainly do when I work in a kitchen, whether I do dishes or cook a feast for my friends and family. Music puts me in a better mood and as a result makes me so productive.

 

However, a cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has a different opinion, which is described in his book ‘This is Your Brain on Music’. He believes that listening to music whilst working making us less productive since it negatively affects our memory and attentional capacity. However, for repetitive or monotonous tasks it has a positive effect since music helps to get rid of boredom. Looks like he is right with my kitchen work there.

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Levitin explains that listening to music makes us less productive while working because we have fewer resources left for the task we are working on.

 

So what shall we do?

 

Levitin suggests listening to music for 10 to 15 minutes before we start working, like for studying or writing, and then work in a quiet environment with regular breaks. However for boring tasks, we should put the music on whilst we are working.

 

What is your experience with music whilst you are working? Leave us a comment and why not also let us know what type of music you listen when you work.

 

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Visual Basic Tip: Recycling Code

If you are new to Visual Basic, and want to start writing Macros for various MS application (most popular are Word and Excel), there are several ways in which you can utilize VB code without the need to spend time writing it from scratch. As with anything code and software related, while following our tips remember to test, test and test again to eliminate any problems, errors and to ensure quality and code is not causing any further problems or clashes when applied.

 

This is the No.1 tip I give whenever I conduct one of our Visual Basic Courses for Excel. Use code that has been written before and adapt it to your own uses. Google is great for such things, but you may spend a bit of time looking for the right code or website.

 

I always suggest checking out the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN.com) for ideas on code when conducting of one our VBA courses (MSDN). You can always use their forums or Facebook and Twitter pages for a few hints and tips and exchanging code. You can also use the MSDN’s extensive knowledge base, documentation and help pages on a variety of VB related stuff as well as further your own knowledge. A brilliant tool for developers and programmers at any stage of experience.

 

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We hope you found this tip helpful. If you want more information, check out our VBA Courses or our other Visual Basic Application Hints and Tips.

 

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Office 365 Tip: Creating Sites

Office 365 Sites are a good way of creating social pages for your business and creating spaces where various departments can share, interact and store information that only they can access. So here is how to create one.

 

 

To create a Site, Log on to your Office 365 account and if you are an administrator, find the Admin Tab.

 

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Under Admin, Click on SharePoint and under site collection a new Ribbon will appear.

 

 

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Click on New then Private Site Collection as per picture below and a pop up Site Wizard window will appear, fill out all the spaces. You will need to give your site a unique name. I would consider naming by Department or Function of the site to make it easy to find.

 

 

 

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Add a person as a Administrator to help control what happens on the site and allow for a person to be responsible for adding documents, other employees….etc to the site.

 

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Once you have created your Site, it will look something similar to this:

 

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Sites can be very useful especially if certain individuals are constantly moving or traveling, or want to access certain documents and contact other individuals without the need to access files remotely. Like much of Office 365, Sites can also be accessed via a tablet, smart phone or ay hand held device with Internet connectivity.

 

 

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Article: To Succeed With Great First Impressions

Competence and Trust are the key factors that people look for when they first meet you. According to Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy, people ask two questions when they meet you, they are:

 

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person?

 

Unfortunately, most of the time in the business world, we focus our energies on Competence. In her Book “Presence”, Cuddy says that most of us want to be seen as able to do the job at hand. After all, to move up in a business environment, you have to prove that you are smart and talented enough to do the job.

 

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However, according to Cuddy, trust or warmth should the most important factors we focus on. We base a lot of our decisions on whether or not we can trust someone enough for them to the job at hand, and this is no different in the business sector.

 

 

Although competence is important, focusing too much on showing how strong you are can lead people to mistrusting you. “If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative,” Cuddy says. “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”

 

 

There are ways to establish Credibility at business meetings and presentations. In our Effective Presentation Course, we focus on persuasive techniques and how to establish credibility. Positive attitude and effectiveness are just two easy ways to establish trust, warmth and credibility. However, explaining your background and emphasizing similarities between yourself and the client you are meeting or even at a job interview could help establish a connection with the person or people you are meeting.

 

 

We hope this article was insightful and can help benefit your business. For any other business related information that could boost your business , check out the business courses we offer.

 

 

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News: Valentine’s Day Offer

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and here at Infero, we are feeling the love. We got a heart felt offer that no one can refuse. We want everyone to enjoy Valentines Day so why not treat yourself or your colleagues and receive a free gift!

 

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Throughout the whole of February we are offering a free box of specialized chocolates when you book on any of our courses. Just call us to book a course and quote ‘Valentine’s day’ to receive a box of special chocolates. What is a better way to learn than in a love-filled environment? So don’t miss out on a fantastic offer and book today.

 

Don’t forget to let us know what you think about our offer, and get social on our Facebook and Twitter pages

Microsoft Access Tip: Creating Relationships

A great tool in Access is Relationship; which is used to combine information between two or more tables. You need more than one table to do this. So the first step would be to create two or more tables relative to your database.

 

To start, you need to Select the Database Tools tab in the Ribbon, in the Relationships command group and click Relationships.

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t yet defined any relationships between your tables, the Show Table dialog box will appear automatically. To find Show Table dialog box however, all you have to do is click on the Design contextual tab, in the Relationships group click Show Table.

 

 

 

Once the Show Table dialog box appears, it will display all of the tables and queries in the database. To see only tables, click Tables tab.

 

 

 

Select one or more tables, and then click Add. For this example, we are looking at creating a relationship between Customers and Employees tables. Click Close when you are done.

 

 

 

 

Drag a field (typically the primary key) from one table to the common field (the foreign key) in the other table. You can drag multiple fields by pressing the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each field you want, and then drag them. You can do this between Multiple Tables to any field required.

 

Dragging from one field to the other is the easiest way of creating instant relationships.

 

 

 

The Edit Relationships dialog box appears.

 

 

Verify that the field names shown are the common fields for the relationship. If you want to edit it or if a field name is incorrect or you have changed your mind, simply click on the field name and select the appropriate field from the list.

 

To enforce referential integrity for this relationship, select the Enforce Referential Integrity box. Note that Relationship Type appears at the bottom. Click Create New button to create more relationship and add the details in the Create New dialog box

 

 

And if can set the Join Type by click the relevant button:

 

 

 

When you are finished in the Relationships window, click Save to save your relationship layout changes.

 

We hope that you found this tip insightful and helpful, if you would like any more access tip’scheck out our others.

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News: Infero Is Approved By Skills Funding Agency

Skills Funding Agency Logo

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) is a UK government funded scheme that funds skills training for further education (FE) in England. The scheme supports over 1,000 colleges, private training providers , and employers with £3.7 billion funding each year.

 

 

The scheme is renowned for its selective properties and many SMEs struggle to become approved as it is such a prestige list. To quote SFA “Organisations that passed the due diligence questions at the Register refresh are listed on the Register. We look to deliver excellent business performance through our people”.

 

 

Here at Infero we are proud to state that we are a SFA registered training provider. The scheme is aimed at organisations that provide exceptional quality training and have a top priority of delivering an outstanding service, these are aspects in which we pride ourselves on. We were first approved in 2015 and now again re-approved in January as a SFA Training Provider.

 

 

We see the register as a guideline to ensure our customers receive outstanding services. This is also a testament to our company’s quality standards and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. We will continue to work hard to deliver to the standards of SFA and we would like to thank our customers for their feedback to help improve our services and courses.

 

 

Don’t forget, if you have any questions then don’t be shy, we’d love to hear.

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Excel Tip: Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a feature within Microsoft Excel which is used for highlighting cells with a certain color, depending on the cell’s value. It can be a great tool for your Excel sheets, as it has various purposes and outcomes, whether you are after the top 5 values or a simple way to values that need your urgent attention.

 

To get to conditional formatting, go to the Home tab, then to the Styles command group:

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There are plenty of in-built options for users who don’t want to modify anything or want to do things on the go. However, Excel gives users the chance to customize their own rules for conditional formatting for that added personal touch.

 

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To customize your own rules, follow the same steps above, select the New Rule command to bring the New Rule Dialogue Box.

 

Want to learn more? Check out our Courses and our other Hints and Tips

 

Article: 5 Ways Classroom Training Is Better

IT Training Courses are a great way to enhance personal skills, productivity and personal knowledge. Once you have a Microsoft expert in the office, that person can share their knowledge with other and reduce time and effort spent figuring out and producing spreadsheets and documents. However, a lot of companies want to step away from sending employees to day courses, and think it’s better to do online courses or even ask employees to spend personal time watching YouTube videos or learn in their own time!

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Although there are some advantages to online based training, such as reduced travel costs and reduced time out of the office, classroom based training can actually be more effective and have a greater outcome on building knowledge! So we decided to present to you 5 reasons why classroom based training courses, such as the one we present here, are better for your company and better for individuals:

 

 

  • The office can be distracting!

Especially on a Monday, phone calls, emails, POs to sign, follow ups to send and more phone calls, being away from the office on a business-based training can be refreshing and useful. A classroom can be a great place to share ideas and come up with solutions to everyday problems at the work place and allows a trainer to teach employees in a safe, quiet, clean environment, away from the noise and pressures of the work area.

 

 

  • Can provide a great opportunity to interact with other companies and build business links and opportunities.

I often find that training sessions with a variety of individuals from various companies lead to new business opportunities for clients. It also creates an environment where business leads can be generated and new links within other industries can be easily established.

 

 

  • A Relationship between the Trainer and the Learner(s) can improve the experience.

The classroom environment provides the important “human touch,” which is often missing in technology-based training. It makes way for a lot of interaction, team-building, social skills and may lead to increased learning opportunities as well as finding a place to practice any new skills acquired. Besides, a Trainer is hand to answer any questions that may come up on the spot!

 

 

  • Group interaction enhances learning.

Employees learn from one another as well as from the trainer. Sharing experiences from the office and work can help the Trainer understand why a learner wants to learn the software and helps others in the classroom understand possible wider application of it. After all, sharing is caring.

 

 

  • It can be the ideal Team building exercise.

The group setting also teaches employees how to interact with one another in a professional, productive, cooperative way, which is something that other forms of training often do not provide.

 

There are more positives to classroom led training, to experience those and see what Infero Training can offer you, check out our Training Courses can offer here, or simply sign up to our mailing list for more articles as well as hints and tips here.

Project 2013 Tip: Using the Task Inspect Tool

The Task Inspect Tool was introduced by Microsoft in Project 2010 to help project managers have even more control on their project and help, especially in long and complicated projects, and to determine and track down the causes of slipping tasks, which can be very problematic.  Trying to determine which predecessor relationship is pushing the scheduled start date out can be difficult with linked tasks residing multiple screens away.

 

After you have added your tasks, assigned resources and set your predecessors, you can use the Task Inspect too to help manage the project easily, without the need to bring up the Task Information Dialogue box every time.

 

To get the Task Inspect Tool:

 

1) Go to Task Tab on the Ribbon and head to the Tasks Command Group

 

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2) Click on the Inspect command

 

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3) This will bring the Task Inspect Tool next to the Ghant Chart Table view in Project. Now every time you select a Task the Task Inspector will bring all the details (predecessors, Assigned Resources, Calendars…) up in a simpler view.

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As you can see from screen grab, the Task Inspector can also be useful if Resourced assigned to the tasks are over allocated and will give you possible solutions.

 

If you want to learn more about Microsoft Project, join our Microsoft Project course. You can also sign up to mailing list for more hints & tips on Project and other MS applications.