COVID-19 – Checklist for Reopening the Workplace After COVID-19

As countries and cities begin to look at easing lockdown restrictions, this checklist for reopening businesses can help you jumpstart your return.

You and your employees have been quarantined in your homes for the past few days weeks months, and now authorities are looking to lift restrictions and open up. You may be thinking, “We’ll be back soon, and I can get out of this house!” The problem is, if you just pick up and go, and don’t prepare for having people back in the workplace, you may run into issues that could have been easily avoided. Now is the time to prepare.

This checklist is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but it can help provide guidance as you look to reopen. It’s organised into four sections: People, Workplace, Technology, and Your Customers. Everyone’s situation is unique, but evaluating your plan with these components in mind can help you get organised and anticipate obstacles.



Tame your inbox with Clean-up


Clean up a folder or a conversation


Overwhelmed trying to achieve Inbox Zero? Folder Clean-up can help.

From your Inbox (or any other email folder), select Home > Clean Up. You can Clean Up ConversationClean Up Folder, or Clean Up Folder & Subfolders. Outlook will automatically move redundant, read messages to the Deleted Items folder. Folder clean-up will never remove unread messages.

Why send a copy when you can send a link instead?


Share attachments with OneDrive.


Collaborating with colleagues on a report or project? Don’t send copies. Send a link instead.

The trick is to upload files to OneDrive and then send everyone a link to the files. Your recipients can collaborate on the same file at the same time, and you don’t have to scour your inbox for multiple copies.

Select Attach File>Browse web locations >OneDrive. You can tell you’re sending a link to a OneDrive file because the attachment icon will have a cloud on it.

Smarter meetings with Skype and OneNote


Collaborate with Skype and OneNote


Before sending that meeting request, make it a Skype meeting and set up a shared space for meeting notes.

Before you send the meeting request, select Skype Meeting. An online meeting link will be created automatically and inserted into the meeting request. For shared notes, select Meeting Notes. Create a new OneNote notebook or select an existing one. A link to the notebook will appear in the meeting request.


Quickly create data visualizations


Worksheet showing data bars created from the Quick Analysis menu


Use the Quick Analysis tool in Excel to easily apply conditional formatting, create charts or tables, or display sparklines next to your data.

  1. In Excel, select the data you want to visualize.
  2. Select [クイック分析] ボタン Quick Analysis in the lower-right corner of the selected data (or press Ctrl+Q).
  3. Point to the formatting options to preview them, and then select the visualization you want to create.


Quickly predict future values based on historical data


The Create Forecast Worksheet window displaying a line chart forecast for selected data


If you have historical time-based data, you can use it to create a forecast. A forecast can help you predict things like future sales, inventory requirements, or consumer trends.

  1. In Excel, select a series of date or time entries and the corresponding values.
  2. Select Data > Forecast > Forecast Sheet.
  3. In the Create Forecast Worksheet window, select the line chart or column chart icon.
  4. In the Forecast End box, select an end date, and then select Create.


Collaborate in real time on an Excel workbook


Screenshot of an Excel sheet, so the co-authoring notification.


You and your coworkers can work at the same time on the same Excel workbook. Save time and avoid countless revisions.

  1. Sign in to Office 365, select Office 365 app launcher icon > OneDrive, and then select the folder where you want to create the workbook. It’s always best to create documents online first.
  2. Select New > Excel workbook, and then select the Book box and rename the file.
  3. Select Share, add the email addresses of those you want to share with, and select Send.When other people open and edit the workbook while you’re working in it, a notification appears at the top and colored flags show where they’re working in the document.


Securely share files with colleagues


Screenshot of Outlook message compose screen, with Change Permissions selected on attached file.


Email a link to an Excel workbook stored in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business to ensure that everyone is viewing and working in the same file.

  1. While composing a message in Outlook, select Message > Include > Attach File on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the file you want to share from the list, or select Browse Web Locations and browse to the file. Then select Insert.
  3. If the file is on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, select Share as OneDrive link in the How do you want to attach this file? box.
  4. Select the attachment arrow, select Change Permissions, and then select the permission level for the message recipients.




Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365, to provide a true chat-based hub for teamwork and give businesses the opportunity to create a more open, fluid, and digital environment. Microsoft Teams is built on existing Microsoft technologies woven together by Office 365 Groups.

Out of the box, Teams leverages identities stored in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and integrates with the other services within Office 365, to create a SharePoint online site and an Exchange Online group mailbox for each team created.

The Teams persistent chat capability is provided by a chat service that interacts with the Office 365 substrate, surfacing many of the built-in Office 365 capabilities, such as archiving and eDiscovery to the data being exchanged in Teams.

Teams also provides a calling and meetings experience that is built on the next generation cloud-based infrastructure that is also used by Skype and Skype for Business. These technology investments include Azure-based cloud services for media processing and signaling, H.264 video codec, SILK and Opus audio codec, network resiliency, telemetry, and quality diagnostics.

To extend Teams capabilities, use Connectors, Tabs, and Bots – available as apps, to bring external information, content, and intelligent bot interactions to Teams.

Microsoft Teams and Office 365

Different groups have various needs, based on their functional role and workstyle. Office 365 is designed for the unique workstyle of every group and includes purpose-built, integrated applications, including:

  • Outlook for enterprise-grade email, now with groups functionality
  • SharePoint for sites and portals, intelligent content services, business process automation and enterprise search
  • Yammer for driving company-wide connections
  • Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video
  • And now, Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365


To find out more give us a call 1300 364 722


Any business with a customer or client base will be holding data about those people. Whether it’s a big CRM system with thousands of files recording everything from date of birth to how many kids someone has and in depth financial information, or a local shop with a Mailchimp list of first name and email address. The GDPR was put in to place by the EU to protect people’s private information and comes into play as of May 2018. It’s essentially the rules that business’ need to follow in regards to the rights of those whose data you have, and the processes incase a breach does occur. The law relates to data belonging to people from within the EU, and applies to Australian businesses that are holding this data. In essence if you are a selling to a global customer base, you need to listen up.

The GDPR rules in a nutshell:

  1. You must make authorities aware of a breach within 72 hours of it occurring, if it is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals”, and notify the clients within 30 days.
  2. Clients can ask about their data. They have a right to know what you’re holding and how it’s being used, and why. If they want a copy of the data then you’re obligated to provide that, at no cost.
  3. Consent for you to collect data can be revoked. At any time, a person can ask you to delete all files and stop using them.
  4. Once your client receives their data, they can pass it onto whomever else they like.
  5. By law, you must have a system that is designed around privacy.

Things to note about GDPR:

  1. If you’re dealing with any businesses in the EU, be particularly mindful of the above. They take GDPR very seriously.
  2. Small businesses in Australia may be exempt from some of the rules. Having said that, it’s still smart to follow them. Cover yourself and your clients.
  3. Data protection isn’t a simple process. Get the help of a professional IT consultant to advise you on what systems to put into place.

The implication of not complying with GDPR rules can be hefty fines at the least. The bottom line here is every business needs top notch security put in place for all their IT systems.


With the workforce being so mobile today we all know that you can get power banks for your mobiles and tablets, but did you know that you can now get a device to charge your laptop on the go as well? We were recently asked by Cygnett to complete some testing of their ChargeUp Pro USB-C 20,000mAh power bank with a number of new laptop devices.

Here are some of the impressive features from this unit:

Size and design

The unit is available in two colours: black and teal. It’s a sleek exterior design and well-rounded edges.

It feels like a quality product with its protective soft touch shell.

Laptop charging

The device is able to deliver 45 Watt to a compatible power delivery complaint laptop.

These compatible laptops include MacBook Pro, HP X360, Dell XPS13, Lenovo Yoga and HP Gen5 ProBook just to name a few.

Not just for your laptop

This unit also supports your everyday devices via its 2 USB-A ports. Plus it can charge these devices quickly, with up to 27W for phones.

Get your phone, tablet and laptop all charged before that meeting, road trip or flight.


This unit has been designed to charge up compatible laptops for the person on the go, which we found worked well across a great range of products. It’s a must have for anyone that is planning a holiday, especially with kids. We found that as a result of the unit’s large capacity we were able to get a very impressive amount of phone and tablet recharges from a single cycle. The unit was given a solid workout over a weekend and the team was extremely impressed with its versatility. A perfect Christmas present for the tech junkie or businessperson!


For more information or to purchase a unit check out


Phishing: what is it and how can you prevent it?


Cybercrime can hit anyone, just ask John Kahibetzer the founder of Twynam Agricultural group, who is on the Forbes list of 50 richest Australians. Unlike may more complex cybercrime attacks that involve hacking, ransomware or spyware, Mr Kahibetzer was the victim of robbery via simple deception. Based on reports of the case, here is a summary of what happened: 

Mr Kahlbetzer’s assistant received an email instructing her to transfer $1 million to the bank account of Mr David Aldridge which appeared to have come from the millionaire. Apparently, this was a “reasonably normal” request from the Mr Kahlbetzer to his assistant and as such she immediately made the funds transfer.  

In court, Mr Kahlbetzer’s assistant admitted that with hindsight, that the email was not written in “perfect English” but she hadn’t considered this to be an issue as it appeared that Mr Kahlbetzer may have been emailing whilst in a rush. 

Perhaps if Mr Kahlbetzer’s assistant had noticed that the email was not written in “perfect english” at the time, she may have also noticed that there was an irregularity in Mr Kahlbetzer’s email address. Mr Aldridge had simply created an email address that was almost identical to Mr Kahlbertzer’s actual email address. He then sent the email to the assistant requesting the funds transfer and the rest is now trying to be resolved in the courts. 

This type of cybercrime, also known as ‘whaling’, targets high value individuals such as CEO’s. Using simple, plain text emails with no attachments or links, allows these types of emails to get through traditional antivirus and spam solutions used by most businesses. This is why cybercriminals are increasingly using these types of attacks, added to the fact that the skills required to pull it off are very basic and the potential rewards can be very high.  

Cybercrime is a real business threat to every single Australian business and if you are not being proactive then the likelihood that you will be impacted is high. Minimizing your business risk starts with you and your team. Awareness at the front line is key to any security strategy. Creating awareness within your team, as well as ongoing training and testing helps to minimize attacks such as the one suffered by Mr Kahlbertzer. Get in touch to find out just how easy it is to help secure your business. 


Two new data laws have been introduced, set to roll out early this year, which directly effect business owners. You can read about the first one over here if you missed it.

Number two is the Notifiable Data Breach regulations, coming in to effect this February.

What is NDB?

It’s a set of changes to the Privacy laws highlighting that companies need to understand how they store, transmit, secure and use data on their networks. Companies need to notify the appropriate authorities of data breaches within strict time frames of them being discovered. If a company fails to do so, they can face monetary penalties of up to $1.8m and $360,000 for individuals. The law covers who must comply, which data breaches must be notified, how to assess them and how to notify people about breaches correctly.

It applies to all companies in Australia, with some small exemptions made for those turning over less than $3 million.

These laws are stringent and complying with them needs to be a business priority. Is your network secure? Do you know how your data is stored? Would you realise if there’s been a breach? What does a breach even mean? We’ve been working with clients to ensure their systems are ready for when the laws come into place. Don’t risk it- get on top of these regulations if you haven’t done so already!


If you need a hand getting your head around all the changes and how they will impact your business, give us a call.


In recent years, the concept of co-working spaces has expanded and communal working environments have become increasingly popular amongst workers and businesses alike. As an IT services provider, we have seen this trend first-hand and helped many businesses relocate.

Evidently, for small or medium sized business there are numerous advantages to be gained from moving your business into such a location.

Generally, the ‘pros’ include greater networking opportunities, the introduction to support networks of similar sized businesses, decreased operating expenses, and in most situations, the provision of a range of basic infrastructure services. Services such as internet access, shared printers, and perhaps even a space to store your current server or NAS device containing all your data.

It’s sounding pretty good so far, yeah?

Yes, but there are some important things that you need to confirm before signing on the dotted line and leasing your brand new hot desk, permanent desk, or managed and/or furnished office.

In our experience, business owners are too quickly wrapped up in the excitement of fancy new office spaces, the generally great cultures they promote, and of course the cost savings. So much so that they forget to ask some very important questions that can have real implications for their business.

In most cases, when you have your own building, small office, or home office, you own and manage its infrastructure. That means that your data is going across YOUR network, and not someone else’s! That generally, you are not letting people that you don’t know connect into your network! That the people inside your business have devices that you know are protected by antivirus applications, and that their devices are secure.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case when it comes to co-working spaces.

So, to help you choose a new shared or co-working office while still ensuring the protection of your business, here are a few things to be mindful of when considering that fancy new communal space.


When they tell you:

“We provide you with unlimited internet access!”

You should be asking:

  • First and foremost, what speed do I get? They may be telling you that they have a Wizz Bang 10GB fibre connection to the building, but what actual speeds will you receive? Ask them to show you the speeds by visiting net.
  • Is that Wi-Fi, ethernet cable, or both?
  • Why does that matter? Because some Wi-Fi networks have limitations on the number of concurrent users they can support, and as such, your internet speeds can be slowed as more people join you in that brilliant shared office space. A well-structured Wi-Fi network should be able to support all the users in the office, without impacting on end user speeds.
  • Will I have individual user logins? All users should be given individual logins (username & password), and not simply receive a password to a generic “Guest” or “Building A” Wi-Fi network SSID that every man and his dog uses.
  • Can I see anyone else’s device on the network that I am on? The answer must be ‘No!’. If you have a PC, a quick way of checking is to open a command prompt window and typing in (ARP -A), and if you see a list as long as your arm, then you should probably keep looking.
  • If I get an ethernet port to connect into as part of my contract or agreement, is the network setup just for me on a private virtual LAN network? If you have both Wi-Fi and Ethernet ports as part of your package they should be on a network that is dedicated to you and not shared with anyone else.

Ok, so it might sound like you should be requesting your own hardware when you move in… Let us clarify, that is not the case! Core IT networking infrastructure is now, and has for a long time, been able to set up multiple (if not hundreds) of virtual networks on a single piece of hardware. A thorough and well-designed installation of this hardware in such an office should be a given.


Then, they tell you:

“You also get access to the fancy $150k multifunction printer, scanner, fax machine, that makes you breakfast in the morning including coffee just the way you like it.”

You should be asking:

  • What are the costs associated with using it? Do I get a monthly allowance? Is it per page? How much per page? Is there a difference between B/W and Colour print costs?
  • How do they track the printing for on-charging? Do I get a card? A code to key-in every time I wish to print?
  • How many printers do you have? What happens if someone wants to print the “Harry Potter Series” just as I’m running late for a meeting and need to URGENTLY get my proposal printed?
  • More importantly, can I access the fancy printer from my private network, or do I need to connect to the shared “Guest Network” to be able to print. (We have seen this happen before, if you want to use the fancy printer you need to disconnect from your secured network, and then connect to the shared Wi-Fi network to be able to print. This is a BIG NO-NO for the privacy and the security of your information and devices.)


Saving the best till last, they drop this one on you: 

“Friday night drinks includes an unlimited supply of beer on tap!”

Awesome, right? Why wouldn’t you sign-up right then and there?

Wellllll, what they forgot to mention is that;

  • They store the kegs for Friday night drinks in the same room that has two large server racks in it.
  • These two server racks are the ones that they offer you to keep your server or NAS safely in.
  • That the room does not have proper cooling (not even a vent on the door for a room that is 2.5m x 4m).
  • That the server racks are not locked, and that the door to the room is not access controlled.
  • That anyone that moves into the shared office is able to put their hardware in there themselves without supervision, ultimately giving them access every piece of hardware in that room.
  • That they have two power points, connected to multiple power boards, to connect to all the equipment in the server racks.

But hey, they have a fun culture and unlimited beer on a Friday night…

Now, you might think that we are taking the piss here. Unfortunately, we have seen this sort of thing happen.

Co-working and shared-working spaces are fantastic innovations, with plenty of positives to offer businesses big and small. But please, beware of getting caught up in all the hype! Instead, make sure that you take the necessary steps to keep your business and your data safe.


It has long been said that we humans only use ten per cent of our brains. Now that may well be a myth, but the same could certainly be said of our devices. Surely you have looked down at your top-of-the-range, latest-model mobile phone and thought, “Gosh, I’m holding decades worth of tech advancement in the palm of my hand, and I only use a fraction of its functionality.”

Well if you do indeed have one of the latest offerings from Apple or Samsung, then we’d like to make sure there is one function that you definitely are using.

Both Apple’s iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge or later models, have SOS Messaging capabilities. Each phone has a feature that, when activated, is able to send an alert message and your location to your designated emergency contact. Sure, we tend to worry about the personal data and information that our phones are constantly tracking, but this time it’s for good reason.

So, here are the Apple and Samsung specifics, and instructions on how to activate this potentially life-saving function on your own device.

Samsung Galaxy S7 (and beyond) SOS Messages

Quickly press the Power key 3 times

This action will automatically send your location AND an alert to your emergency contact. You also have the option of including pictures or an audio recording in that alert.

How to enable SOS function

  1. Swipe down from the home pageto access the notifications drawer.
  2. Tap the Settings button(top right).
  3. Select Privacy And Emergency.
  4. Tap Send SOS Messages.
  5. Slide the switchat the top to right to “On”.
  6. A “Create Emergency Contact” Alert will pop up, tap “Add”
  7. Select “Create Contact”to set up a new person as your emergency contact, or “Select From Contacts” to assign an existing contact. If selecting an existing contact, skip to step 10.
  8. Enter the person’s name and phone number.
  9. Press Save(top right).
  10. Add up to 4 emergency contacts.
  11. Tap the back arrow (top left).
  12. Adjust the optionsfor Attach Pictures or Attach Audio Recording to your preference.


Apple: iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus (iOS 11)

Calling Emergency Services

Firstly, if you have not yet graduated to the iPhone 8 or X and have an iPhone 7 or earlier model, we completely understand. Your emergency action should be to:

  1. Rapidly press the side button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear.
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

Your iPhone will then automatically call the local emergency number. In some countries and regions, you might need to then choose the specific service that you require.

If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on.

Here’s how to make the call on an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus:


  1. Press and hold the side button and one of the Volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button instead of dragging the slider, a countdown begins and an alert sounds. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone automatically calls emergency services.

For those of you with the latest iPhones, the additional features are as follows…

You can add emergency contacts. After an emergency call ends, your iPhone automatically alerts your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel. Your emergency contact will be notified of your current location, and then be updated if your location changes while your iPhone is in SOS mode. You will get a notification that your contact has been updated about 10 minutes after the message is sent.

To stop the updates, tap the status bar and select “Stop Sharing Emergency Location.” You’ll get a reminder to stop every 4 hours, for 24 hours after the call.

Ending a call

If you started an emergency call by accident, press the Stop button, then tap Stop Calling.

Add or remove emergency contacts

You can add emergency contacts from the Health app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab.
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  3. Tap to add an emergency contact.
  4. Tap a contact, then add their relationship.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

Here’s how to remove emergency contacts:

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab.
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  3. Tap next to a contact, then tap Delete.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes.

Turning off Auto Call

Should you wish your iPhone NOT to countdown, sound an alert, and automatically make the emergency services call then:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS, then turn Auto Call on or off.

If you turn off this setting, you can still use the Emergency SOS slider to make a call.


Apple and Samsung are looking out for you on these ones, so make sure you take a minute to set up your emergency contacts. It might save you a minute when you most need it.