Horse Sense #106

Toys for Techs (tm)

This e mail is NOT about the holiday consumer buying frenzy, but about your business needs (though some Toys for Techs (tm) make great personal gifts as well). Toys for Techs is not just for the holidays. You can do it any time and I encourage you to do so.

Horse Sense is meant to be useful for long periods of time and few ideas have proven more useful than Toys for Techs. Everyone who has implemented Toys for Techs has seen positive results in their business.

If you are Ebenezer Scrooge, you can stop reading now. But, if you want to know more about how you can make Toys for Techs work for you and bring happiness to techy girls and boys, take a look at these older Toys for Techs posts: (more toys and green ideas) (restated rules and more ideas--Best to READ FIRST) (The Best Technologies You Still Aren't Using) (more ideas) (the rules on Toys for Techs)

You may well be able to deduct your Toy expenses as business expenses. See

A couple of other Toy ideas bear thinking about.

-You probably change the oil on your car every so often and follow other manufacturer maintenance guidelines. You also probably spend a lot more time in "driving" your PC, so it can really pay to take care of it. When was the last time you had someone professionally service your equipment? Or when was the last time a professional looked at your machine and cleaned out all your software gunk?

-You also probably look at your finances periodically and plan for the future. Have you done that with your computer network as a whole? Do you have control over your computers or do they have control of you?

-You interact most with your keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Do you lust for something better or different?

-You cannot see a solid state hard drive upgrade or a gigabit network connection, but you can certainly benefit from the faster and smoother operation of your PC.

-Are you saving energy and money? Newer machines not only are much faster and more powerful, they tend to be more energy efficient as well.

-Make yourself comfortable. If you listen to lots of stuff on your PC, get a good headset or speakers. If you cannot type, get voice recognition software and a noise cancelling microphone. If your wrists ache, get a wrist rest. If you travel a lot and listen to podcasts, get noise cancelling or isolating ear buds for your playback device. Get cases and carry bags that not only will protect your equipment but make it easier, safer, and more comfortable to move around.

-Improve your environment. Get more efficient and quieter power supplies or equipment. Put equipment into enclosures that provide noise abatement. Buy a fan to move air around.

-Try out the latest technology. There is a good chance you may be using it in the workplace soon. You need to get experience with the hardware and software to see if it really makes sense. More important than providing money for this Toy may be providing the time to do the trial. In fact, you can get lots of software to try for free, and a very long list of quality software is free anyway.

-A Toy can also be a subscription service, like a technical support subscription, a subscription to driver updates, a service that tests the reliability of your web servers, etc.

-Training can be an excellent Toy buy.

-Protecting what you have is a good idea. Cell phone and tablet cases, uninterruptible power supplies, security locks, security software for mobile equipment, and other protection technologies will make you more secure.

-Even low technology items like shredders, tape guns, utility knives, tool sets, patch cables, cable organizers, equipment dollies, monitor arms, keyboard drawers, and other items can be great Toys because they make work easier, more comfortable, or more productive.

-Do not be afraid to be silly. Even silly things can improve morale or become useful. I've bought M&Ms for "hush child" use for when employees bring children into the office. Those who behave get the sweets.

-Consider that a good toy could be just changing a policy so that you do or do not do something. For example, there are many positive consequences to allowing employees to bring their dogs into the office.

Toys for Techs (tm) discussions tend to improve morale and focus employees on the business. It gets everyone working together in a new and cooperative way. It is fun. It is useful. It is something you really should do.

If you want to talk Toys, call Iron Horse. We can help!

©2012 Tony tirk, Iron Horse