How to Resize Blocks in WordPress

How to Resize Blocks in WordPress

The Gutenberg Block Editor, introduced officially in WordPress 5.0, gives users the opportunity to fully customize their WordPress content and sites. No longer constrained by the need to create in a WYSIWYG tool like the TinyMCE Classic Editor, Gutenberg provides individual blocks for each element of the post’s or page’s content. With control over the settings for each specific block, users can design WordPress content more easily than ever before. And one of the simplest ways to make designs stand out is to take them beyond their default settings. So we’re going to look at how to resize blocks in WordPress so that you can start thinking (and designing) outside of the box.

Most resizing in the block editor is still constrained to the content area of the site due to the blocks’ responsive nature. If you have set your page’s content area to full-width, you will be working within that space. If you have a post content area set to from 580px or 1200px, for example, you will work there. The methods we’re using to teach you how to resize blocks in WordPress are all based on the idea that you will be staying within the borders of any particular block’s container.

How to Resize Blocks in the Editor

Some—but not all—blocks have built-in resizing options. These are the easiest ones to resize for obvious reasons. Depending on the block, however, the resizing options will be in different places.

Example #1: The Image Block

Clicking on the block will bring up the context menu, and the resizing options here are actually spacing options. However, the wide width and full width alignments will change the size of the image block to either the width of the container (wide) or to the width of the whole page (full).

image

You can also resize the image block using the block settings in the right-hand sidebar. The aptly named Image Size section has a number of choices with which you can resize the block.image options for how to resize blocks in wordpress

WordPress has a dropdown for quick resizing, and you can choose presets from thumbnail, medium, large, and full size. Selecting full size will vary on your theme whether it actually displays fully or fits to the content area.

You can also specifically adjust the width and height by pixels. Beneath that you can adjust by percentage. The percentage is based on the numerical value in the width and height fields. Not the preset image size that you selected from the drop-down menu.

And finally, you can click on the image itself to bring up a blue border with white, circular anchors. You can drag these to resize the block.

still resizing images

You will simply click and drag on any of the anchors to scale the image. Doing so will adjust the sizing in the height and width fields in the block settings menu.

Example #2: The Event Block

For the Event Block, the resizing settings are solely in the context menu in the editor itself. (The Event Block is a separate plugin by Automattic that you will install, and it is not part of Gutenberg core editor.)

width of event block

Like some of the image block options, the resizing options here are technically spacing options. But the two options are Align Center and Wide Width. You can choose one to be centered in the container or to be the full width across the screen.

Adjusting the height of the block in the editor itself is kind of hacky, but works. If you simply hit enter/return in the empty-block field, you can expand the height by inserting extra, empty paragraph blocks.

hacky height adjustment

It’s a less-than-ideal solution. But it’s fast and works in a pinch—especially given the absence of a real height-adjustment option for the Event Block.

Example 3#: Using Columns to Resize Blocks in WordPress

If the block you need to resize does not come with resizing options in its settings panel or context menu, using the block editor’s columns is another way you can resize any block. Simply search for the Columns block by pressing any of the + buttons to add a new block.

resize blocks

Within the Column block, you can add any other blocks that you want. In the search options, block editor Patterns also appear. These are templates you can insert into your post or page with content already sized and placed, waiting on your content to replace the placeholder.

From the outset, the Columns block lets you choose the size of the column itself. It is broken into 6 different orientations, each with a different percentage of the page used for individual columns.

columns

These are not the only configurations you can use. You can use the blue + button inside the block to add a new column at any point. Each individual column has its own settings panel in which you can adjust the width of it alone by percentages.

using columns to resize blocks

It may take some experimentation to get the sizing correct for your design. However, when it’s finished, you can have some well-designed and well-spaced content on your front page. Keep in mind that any empty columns that you have in the block editor will also show up as empty on the front end.

front-end appearance

By adjusting the width, placement, and number of different columns, your blocks can be resized and placed in almost any way.

Need More Sizing Options? Consider a More Advanced Page Builder

We realize that some of these methods to resize blocks can feel limiting. If you find that they’re too limiting for you, it might be time to look into a more advanced page builder.

divi resize options

Our own Divi, for example, has Sizing and Transform options for each module (block) that give you much greater control over shape, size, and spacing than is possible in Gutenberg. Most advanced page builders do, too, so if you find that Gutenberg’s options are too limiting, checking out something like Divi may be the best next step.

How to Resize Blocks in WordPress Using CSS

Each block has a CSS section in the settings panel under Advanced Settings. Alongside any other block-specific advanced settings, each one has a field for Additional CSS Class(es). You can assign any selectors you want to this individual block, whether they already exist on your site or if you create it specifically for this block.

image block css

Normally, we would suggest using CSS IDs instead of Classes for individual blocks, but that’s not supported by the block editor (by default, at least). So you will want to just use multiple Classes to keep up with individual blocks rather than IDs. Classes are really meant to cover large categories of element types, while IDs are meant for individual elements. In this case, we suggest using a clear naming convention to keep things straight in your code.

Regardless, you will simply input the class into the text field. Do not include the period/dot in front of the Class name in this field.

block css

Now, you should navigate to Appearance – Customize and find the Additional CSS section at the very bottom. Write or paste the CSS code to resize the block to your liking.

block css

We suggest avoiding using measurements in pixels (px) because they’re absolute. Preferably, you will use either vw (viewport width), vh (viewport height), or (percentage) to adjust the block. These will each scale in reference to the device and/or other content around it.

.block-1 {
	height:35vh;
	max-height:50vh;
}

.block-2 {
	width: 100vw;
}

.block-3 {
	max-width:80vw;
}

Keep in mind that % and vw/vh are different, too, though they function similarly. They all function on percentages, but those are relative to different anchors.

The percentage measurement is in relation to the container in which the element is held. So if the section or row the element sits in doesn’t go to the edges of the screen, even setting width:100% will not reach the boundaries.

Using vh/vw will, however, as they’re relative to the viewport of the device itself, not the site’s elements. Using height:80vh, you can always make sure that this block takes up 80% of the screen height, regardless of whether it displays on a mobile device, desktop, or tablet.

Conclusion

The block editor in WordPress gives users a huge number of customization options that were previously unavailable (within the editor itself, that is). Knowing how to resize blocks in WordPress is essential to being able to utilize the block editor to its fullest extent. And with full-site editing now in its repertoire, this is one skill that’s only going to be more useful as time goes on.

What are some tips and tricks you can share about resizing blocks in WordPress?

Article featured image by 3rieart / shutterstock.com

The post How to Resize Blocks in WordPress appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

This post was originally published on this site

Open Survey for WordPress Theme Authors on JSON Files and Block Themes

WordPress 5.8 introduced an opt-in system for themes to configure block settings, styles, templates, and more. It is done through a new theme.json file that authors can put at the root of their theme folders. Anne McCarthy, the lead of the FSE Outreach Program, announced a survey earlier today to get feedback from developers on this feature.

“Since this new mechanism is an early step towards a comprehensive style system for the future of WordPress, it’s important to hear from everyone who is currently using theme.json to learn more about how folks are using this tool and what might make sense to include in Core going forward,” she wrote in the announcement.

The survey is open to all theme authors who have used theme.json, giving them a chance to put in some early feedback and help steer the ship going forward.

Because I have worked extensively with this system over the past few months, I had a few things to say. Plus, I just like participating in WordPress-related surveys. I also decided it would be an opportunity to share some of my unfiltered thoughts from a development perspective on the current state of theme.json.

What follows are my responses to the survey’s questions — well, the tidied-up version.

Note: This is a developer-centric post that might not universally appeal to all of our readers. I have attempted to explain some things in user-friendly terminology, but some prerequisite knowledge of theme development may be necessary.

Experience

The first question of the survey is pretty cut-and-dry. It asks what your experience is with building block themes or using theme.json. It provides four choices (and an “other” option):

  • I have built and launched block themes.
  • I have experimented with building block themes.
  • I have explored using theme.json with a classic theme.
  • I have used a block theme, but I have not built one yet.

I chose the first option because I have already built two block themes for family and friends. These were simple personal sites that I already maintain for free — honestly, I need to start charging. I am also working on a theme that I hope to release publicly.

How It Started and How It’s Going

The second question asks how one got started with block themes and theme.json. The choices are between forking an existing theme, using the Empty Theme, or starting from scratch.

Again, this is one of those things where I have experimented with each direction, but I cannot remember the exact starting point. The bulk of my work has come from forking a theme that I last worked on in 2019.

I plan to release this as a new theme for free at some point. I am mostly waiting on the following:

  • Navigation block development to settle down
  • The Post Author block to be split into smaller blocks
  • A robust set of comment-related blocks
  • Post Featured Image block to have a size option

I think I could realistically release a use-at-your-own-risk beta version of my theme today if those items were addressed.

Templates and Template Parts

The survey asked which templates and template parts themers always include in their block-based themes. There was a freeform comment field — steps upon soapbox…

I have a love/hate relationship with block templates at the moment. The static nature of HTML templates reminds me of simpler times when theme development was less complicated. However, this also presents a problem in a dynamic system.

I cannot remember the last time I have built a traditional, PHP-based theme with more than one top-level template: index.php. The dynamic pieces have always been the guts of the thing, which are template parts. With PHP, it is easy to set some variable or use a function call to contextually load the templates parts necessary for whichever page a visitor is currently viewing on a site.

The block template system does not work like that. It essentially forces developers into breaking the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) principle.

For example, if a designer wanted to display a different header template part for pages and posts, they would only need to create a header-page.php or header-post.php template in traditional themes. However, because the block template system is different, they must now create two top-level templates, single.html (post) and page.html, to accomplish the same thing.

This is a “bad thing” because theme authors must duplicate all the other code in each of the top-level templates. There is no way to contextually load different template parts.

To answer the question: I am using almost all of the possible top-level templates out of necessity.

I also answered the second part of the question and listed my most commonly used template parts (broken down by hierarchy):

  • Header
  • Content
    – Loop
    – Sidebar
  • Footer

The content-*.html and loop-*.html template parts are those with the most variations.

Defining Colors

The next section of the survey asks how theme authors define their color palette slugs in theme.json. Believe it or not, naming colors may be the most controversial topic in the theming world in years. The only two things generally agreed upon are “background” and “foreground” colors.

Morten Rand-Hendriksen opened a ticket in 2018 for standardizing a theme color naming scheme. It was not the first discussion and has not been the last. The problem it was meant to address was the slugs for colors in the system, which is how themes define their palettes. Once a user makes use of a preset color, the slug is hardcoded into their content. Switch to another theme with different slugs, and the old colors disappear and do not automatically change to the new theme’s colors.

I use semantic names that follow something that closely resembles the Tailwind CSS framework’s shading system. Instead of red-medium (descriptive), I would use primary-500 (semantic), for example. A semantic approach would allow theme authors to define a set of colors that are updated each time a user switches themes.

Of course, there are other schools of thought, and even everyone who prefers semantic naming does not agree on the same system. I have described my approach in more detail in a more recent GitHub ticket and have a theme.json Gist for others who might want to try it.

Other Theme JSON Settings

Outside of colors and typography, the survey asks what other settings theme authors have used. This is another scenario where I typically use everything — if there is an option for it, I am defining it.

One use case that WordPress does not currently have a preset for is global spacing. Most theme authors use a single value for most vertical margins (whitespace between blocks and elements). It is also often used for default vertical and horizontal padding.

I am unsure if I want a preset because I do not know how WordPress will use it. It is something that others have asked for, and it is nearly ubiquitous in use. Defining an entire system around it could cause headaches down the road, but I would still like to see some discussion around implementing at least a standard global spacing preset.

Per-Block Settings and Styles

This survey section was a yes/no question, simply asking if theme authors included per-block settings or styles in their theme.json files. Of course, I left some additional comments later in the optional comment section.

I am happy with the system when it comes to settings, which allows themers to define which features are enabled globally or on a per-block basis. However, I am not sold on adding styles via theme.json.

Writing CSS in JSON, essentially what we are talking about, feels wrong on so many levels. Currently, it is limited to merely a few configurable styles, so anything beyond that requires diving into an actual CSS file anyway. That is problematic because half of the theme’s CSS code is divided between theme.json and a separate CSS file. From a development standpoint, it makes the codebase harder to maintain.

Initially, I started down the path of configuring per-block and element styles from theme.json. However, I have since moved my styling back to CSS files. It feels more natural, and I have the added benefit of all the tooling I am accustomed to. Right now, I cannot imagine a scenario where I would move back.

Besides saving a few bytes of code, I have not seen many benefits to adding styles for most things via JSON. Maybe that will change in the future, and I will be a convert. For now, I am sticking primarily with CSS.

Other Feedback: A PHP Layer

I have said it before, but it bears repeating. We need a PHP layer for this theme.json configuration system. There is currently an open ticket for addressing this.

There are two main benefits to such a system. Having a PHP API for piecing together configuration will feel far more natural to traditional theme developers. I look at it as a bit of an olive branch, a show of good faith that the core/Gutenberg developers recognize that many theme authors will have an easier time easing into FSE features via a familiar programming language.

The second advantage is that there is an untold number of plugin ideas to extend global styles, site editing, and more if there is an easy way to hook into the theme JSON system and overwrite things. A simple filter hook would make this painless.

This post was originally published on this site

Cultural Awareness in the Workplace: Why Does It Matter?

Cultural Awareness in the Workplace: Why Does It Matter?

Featured image by ProStockStudio

Now more than ever, it is vital that companies diversifying their workforce seek to include cultural awareness as part of their company culture. This will ensure that everyone is heard, valued, and understood.

RELATED ARTICLE: WHY YOUR COMPANY MISSION DRIVES YOUR CULTURE

As the world grows increasingly smaller, our cultures and backgrounds continue to merge and interact with each other. Even without the advantages of air travel, getting us across borders and time zones at what would have been fictional speeds just a few generations ago, technology has also facilitated a far more inclusive outlook for businesses and workplaces. Companies are now able to expand far beyond what might once have been possible. Now, they can hire and import employees from across the world.

However, it is not just expansion that has become the new norm. The UK has seen a 58% increase in diversity and inclusion roles in the last five years. Moreover, the trend looks set to continue. This shift creates far more opportunities for growth and education. However, it can also provide certain challenges with communication. Moreover, different cultural or linguistic backgrounds bring their own expectations to the workplace. Now more than ever, it is vital that companies diversifying their workforce seek to include cultural awareness as part of their company culture. This will ensure that everyone is heard, valued, and understood.

What Do We Mean by Cultural Awareness?

Before we can understand the importance of cultural awareness in the workplace, we must first understand what culture actually is. We also need to grasp how cultural diversity can affect working relationships. Simply put, culture has everything to do with the way we experience and move through the world. Basically, each person’s culture comes from where and how they grew up.

Ultimately, the concept of culture is not something we’re often forced to consider when it comes to our own habits and preferences. It’s only when placed among those whose culture is different from our own that we begin to see the complex and varying dynamics at play.

In a work environment, culture has to do with the way we communicate. It can influence the types of tasks we perhaps find easier or more challenging. It can also affect our level of comfort in group or solitary settings. All of these factors contribute to how well a team is able to work together and how they are able to understand each other. Therefore, the goal of cultural awareness is to break down the distance and barriers between those differences. This process will allow people to better understand themselves and ultimately each other.

Patty Goodman is cross-cultural communication faculty lead for Northeastern’s Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication program. She describes the concept of culture and cultural awareness as “an understanding of oneself and how one needs to adjust to the environment and ecosystem that he or she is in.”

Because culture is ultimately a living, breathing thing, it will alter and shift with time just as people do. Therefore, the first step to understanding cultural awareness is to accept that it must remain flexible and open to evolution.

Self-Awareness Is Key to Cultural Awareness

One of the misconceptions surrounding cultural awareness training is that the greatest emphasis is placed upon examining other people’s behaviors. In fact, however, the first step to becoming truly culturally aware is an exploration of oneself. People must first begin to understand the way they prefer to work, solve problems, and communicate.

Regardless of whether you have a diverse team or not, assessing your own behavior is a great benefit to both yourself and your colleagues. After all, when you understand how you work and why you do things the way you do, you are better equipped to capitalize on the traits that help you achieve your goals. You will also be better able to improve the areas where you may not be as naturally gifted.

For employers, allowing staff to go through this process of self-discovery during training also allows you to home in on areas of concern. You’ll be better able to understand why some strategies work better than others and you’ll learn how to better overcome obstacles.

For example, research suggests that under the right circumstances, introverts and extroverts can both produce extremely positive results in the workplace. But understanding who may identify as such may not always be possible based on external opinion, especially in larger organizations. This means that self-assessment is often crucial to understanding the quirks of each individual.

How Does Cultural Awareness Affect Workplace Communication?

Difficulties in communication, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations are consistently listed among the main issues that employees face in the workplace. No relationship can ever truly flourish without clear communication, and work relationships are no exception.

Fostering this kind of environment can be difficult enough, especially considering differing personalities and expectations from people with similar backgrounds. Adding cross-cultural communication to the equation can often complicate the process even further. Misinterpretation is all too easy.

Communication can be one of the greatest challenges when interacting with and integrating a multicultural team. However, it is also one of your greatest strengths when you understand the process. A team whose members are able to understand themselves and those around them will be far less likely to argue and experience friction. This is especially true if each team member is aware of their personal communication styles and needs.

For example, understanding that an individual is a very explicit communicator is helpful. This can enable employees to understand it as a personality or cultural trait, and not as a personal attack. A team that is able to navigate these differences effectively is far more likely to succeed. And that all starts with cultural awareness.

It Can Have a Positive Effect Throughout the Business

Cultural awareness instills long-term problem-solving and interpersonal skills that have countless benefits that lead to better results, including the creation of a successful business. These sorts of teams bring a range of experiences, skills, and expertise to the workplace. Naturally, these are of great benefit to businesses.

Countless studies have shown a clear link between a culturally diverse workplace and good productivity. While this is largely due to an increase in opportunities for innovation, it also comes from healthy competition. A homogenous team is sometimes seen as a “safe” choice. However, multicultural teams who work well together thanks to cultural awareness are able to achieve terrific results. L’Oréal has been one such example of this truth. That company admits that much of its success has been precisely due to its investment in multicultural teams throughout its life as a company.

The friction that can arise between multicultural teams, especially when it comes to producing results, can certainly be a challenge. But that’s why cultural awareness matters. This is also why it is so vital for increasing profits. When a multicultural team can work well together, the business often reaps the biggest benefits.

Your Workplace Reflects a Multicultural World

Cultural awareness has countless benefits for the well-being and overall happiness of employees. First, employee satisfaction contributes to a positive company culture. A diverse employee base that works well together and respects each other is more likely to form stronger connections at work. Moreover, employees are more likely to express greater job satisfaction. In fact, workers in inclusive teams are twice as likely to receive regular career development opportunities. They are ten times more likely to be effective than workers in non-inclusive teams.

From a moral perspective, teams that promote inclusivity and work against stereotyping and discrimination promote a higher level of trust. This applies not only among fellow employees, but also toward higher-ups as well. A cultural awareness initiative can help to alleviate the stresses that issues such as unconscious bias place upon those from multicultural backgrounds.

While cultural awareness by itself does not immediately guarantee excellent mental health, it certainly reduces the likelihood of tribalism or unhealthy competitive behaviors. Moreover, it encourages us to consider the value in our differences. Psychologists believe that the experience of being understood and accepted is a key to overall human happiness and wellbeing. It should encompass the workplace as well as our personal lives.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE IMPORTANCE OF OFFICE COMFORT FOR PRODUCTIVITY

Conclusion

Diverse work environments can easily pose challenges when cultural awareness is not a priority. By taking steps to become more aware of both ourselves and others, we can strengthen our interpersonal skills. We can then turn that challenge into an advantage.

Of course, like any skill, cultural awareness does not happen overnight. It requires patience, an open mind, and a willingness to self-reflect and be flexible. Once you are able to achieve this, you’re certainly on the right track to success.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MAKE WORK LESS STRESSFUL FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

About the Author

This post was written by Chris Crosby, CEO and co-founder of Country Navigator. Country Navigator provides cultural diversity and inclusion training in the workplace. The company creates unique and tailor-made solutions for businesses through inclusion, innovation, and collaboration. Country Navigator’s cultural diversity and inclusion training gives detailed and highly accurate analysis across parameters. These include explicit and implicit communication and individual and group identity. Chris has more than 30 years of experience in helping leaders, teams, and organizations to work better across cultures.

The post Cultural Awareness in the Workplace: Why Does It Matter? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

This post was originally published on this site

PublishPress Adopts Organize Series Plugin

PublishPress Adopts Organize Series Plugin

PublishPress, makers of the PublishPress and PublishPress Blocks plugins, have adopted the Organize Series plugin from Darren Ethier. Organize Series is a 15-year-old plugin for organizing and displaying posts in a series, useful for novel writers, educators, magazine sites, and anyone breaking their longer content up into a series.

image credit: PublishPress

PublishPress is also adopting seven extensions for the plugin that add features like custom post type support, shortcodes, the ability to add a post to multiple series, bulk publishing, and more.

Ethier, who works as an engineer at Automattic, said he began losing interest in maintaining the plugin and knew it was time to search for a new owner.

“Most of you have noticed that I haven’t been actively contributing to Organize Series or it’s extensions for some time now and it’s been bugging me,” he said. “I’ve been gradually losing interest in maintaining the plugin as I’ve expanded my developer horizons and as a result, I’ve struggled with making the time to work on it.”

Ethier connected with PublishPress by describing his situation in a post on the Post Status community and agreed to transfer his plugin and extensions in exchange for a donation to a charity.

“Darren asked us to make a charitable donation as part of the handover,” PublishPress founder Steve Burge said. “We chose the American Journalism Project. Over 2,100 communities in the U.S. have lost their local newspaper since 2004. The AJP is trying to reverse that trend. It is a non-profit that is investing in local news. Their goal is to help grow newsrooms that hold the powerful accountable, combat disinformation, and deepen civic participation.”

Burge assured current users that the free version of Organize Series will remain free on WordPress.org with all of its current features and some improvements. The company will also keep the extensions freely available on GitHub but Burge said they plan to release a commercial version with updated versions of the extensions.

With the adoption of Organize Series, PublishPress now has nine plugins available in its niche collection of publishing extensions as part of its mission to “help WordPress publishers succeed.” In the near future, Organize Series’ website content will be transferred over and the company will be changing the plugin’s name to “PublishPress Series.”

This post was originally published on this site

Cultural Awareness in the Workplace: Why Does It Matter?

How IT Services Can Support Your Return to Work

Featured image by Tarun Dhiman on Unsplash

Office-based businesses are returning to work following the coronavirus lockdown. And many are looking to integrate aspects of home working into the office environment. This article provides a few examples of IT services that can ease this transition. Additionally, these examples illustrate how you can create a more flexible and efficient workplace going forward.

As we eagerly approach the end of coronavirus restrictions, most businesses have now started to bring employees back to the office. However, the move to remote working over the past year has opened Pandora’s box. That is, many employees are now looking to retain aspects of flexible and remote working. 

The good news for businesses is that home and office environments do not need to be mutually exclusive. By embracing collaborative software—some of which you might already have dabbled in—you can ease this transition to a mixed working environment. You can ensure that your business is even more flexible and efficient.

RELATED ARTICLE: REMOTE WORK: HOW IT AFFECTS THE HOUSING INDUSTRY

Let IT Services Help You with File Synchronization

There’s nothing worse than having to dig through a year’s worth of emails to find the one version of a document you need. Local area networks ensure that everyone in the office has access to a pool of files. However, this isn’t always up-to-date. Different versions of various documents can end up floating around. 

On top of this, only one person at any give time can edit local documents. And if you’re away from the office, you need to log in to the local network using a remote access solution. This is a slightly clunky process that adds another layer of abstraction to finding, editing, and saving documents and files.

Enter file synchronization, thanks to IT services. Cloud-based services such as Google Drive and Microsoft 365 allow employees to store files online. This means that anyone with the credentials can access them through a simple app or browser interface. Crucially, however, multiple people can also access documents at the same time. Moreover, everyone can see what other people are doing.

As all changes are synchronized instantly, there is only ever one version of a given document. What’s more, this one document merges all of the changes together. This is invaluable when people are working remotely. It means that people don’t end up working on separate copies of the same document. It also makes it easier to organize your documents. This makes it easy to see what the changes are, who made them, and when.

IT Services Can Help You with Messaging Apps

One of the biggest problems with remote working in general is maintaining good communication. Many businesses have embraced Zoom meetings and other IT services as solutions. Nonetheless, the problem persists if only a part of your workforce is working remotely. Employees in the workplace need a way to communicate seamlessly with remote workers, with no information being withheld by virtue of only being shared at work.

If you aren’t using one already, a business messaging platform is a helpful tool both internally and externally. Tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack provide extensive messaging and file sharing functionalities. Such apps can even replace emails or phone calls for simple messaging and collaboration among employees. 

Built on the foundations of Internet Relay Chat, the classic form of online chat rooms, Slack and Teams provide your business with a unique “server” to which you can invite employees. Within this, you can create different rooms or groups to house different conversations. For example, you can set up a room for HR or a room for a specific project. This compartmentalizes discussions while making them available for others to view should they need to.

Unlike emails, which can stretch into long and complicated chains and become hard to keep track of, conversations on messaging apps are easily categorized. This makes it easier to keep track of them. Employees only receive alerts about conversations that are relevant to them. However, managers and others can make announcements in specific channels to ensure everyone receives them. By ensuring your whole company keeps one of these apps open as a matter of course, you can streamline your communications. In short, you can keep everyone in the loop at all times.

Are You Using VoIP Yet?

Zoom is fine for the purposes of meetings but isn’t always appropriate in other situations. If you usually take a lot of phone calls in the office, you may instead want to explore IT services such as internet telephony. This usually takes the form of Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly known as VoIP. VoIP can also be a good solution if you don’t have clients who use Zoom or other conferencing options, or you simply don’t want to commit to Zoom.

VoIP allows you to emulate a traditional phone network (usually represented by a physical PBX) in workers’ home environments. Instead of a physical telephone system, your staff will be able to manage and direct calls from the cloud. This can take the form of a software-based solution which uses a simple headset. Or you can choose an internet-connected handset that sits on your home desk. You won’t need any other equipment. What’s more, employees can take and make calls through the same system despite being miles apart.

A well-implemented VoIP solution gives the impression that you are operating as normal from the office, in a coordinated and organized manner. With a variety of tools to manage your VoIP solution, you can make this a reality. In other words, you can ensure that staff members take calls, then switch or divert them with as few impediments as possible. This will give every caller or recipient the smoothest experience possible.

Pandemic-Driven Change Calls for IT Services

The working environment of 2021 is likely to differ substantially from that of years past, with the pandemic having driven rapid change. The businesses who thrive in their return to work will be the ones who adapt fastest to this new era. These will be the companies that adopt the most forward-thinking policies and technologies, many of which have become available only in the past year. By leaning on IT services, you’ll ensure a smooth return. Moreover, you will set your business up to grow and improve for years to come.

RELATED ARTICLE: DO LONDONERS WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OFFICE?

About the Contributor

Sota is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of professional IT managed services, cloud computing, cyber resilience, connectivity, and unified communications. Having worked with countless businesses over the years, they are experts in their field. They stand ready to advise and offer tailored solutions for each and every company.

RELATED ARTICLE: WHY REMOTE WORKING IS THE FUTURE OF THE IT INDUSTRY

The post How IT Services Can Support Your Return to Work appeared first on Business Opportunities.

This post was originally published on this site