JULY 2013

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Vacation Stressing You Out?
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

Summertime – that time of the year when we try to carve out some much needed time off. You remember those vacations, don’t you? Mom and dad loaded the family and the station wagon to spend quality time together uninterrupted by workday worries – no phone calls from the office, emails to check in the morning or throughout the day.  THAT’s my memory of childhood vacations, though it’s not my children’s experience - or those of many other families when you read the stats, especially those in the IT sector.

Consider this…Staffing agency TEKsystems recently conducted a survey that found that 67% of senior IT professionals are expected to be available during vacation. I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say the percentage is a lot higher since I know very few mid-level or senior IT professionals who completely unplug during their downtime. Here are a couple more interesting poll results regarding employee vacation time:

  • About 54% of managers expect work will be accomplished by employees during a vacation, according to a Harris Interactive survey of nearly 2,100 adults last month.
  • Of 5,600 full-time U.S. workers polled by CareerBuilder in May of 2011, 24% reported they have had to work while their families went on vacation without them, and 16% said they gave up vacation days in the previous year because they didn't have time to use them.

What about vacation stats for countries outside the United States? Many countries require companies to give a certain number of paid vacation days for employees with 10 years of services.  The United States isn’t one of those countries, but China is (10 paid vacation days).  Other countries include the United Kingdom, with 28, and Japan with 20. As a matter of fact, U.S. workers received an average of 12 vacation days in 2012, down from 14 in 2011, according to an annual survey of almost 8,700 people from 22 countries commissioned by Expedia. And, of those vacation days, they only took 10 of them off.

global vacation days chart

These stats apply to employees across all departments, not only IT; however, IT professionals find it particularly difficult to "unplug" completely. There’s no doubt that IT systems are crucial for business operations these days. But while we worry about the health of the IT department, there’s also the well-being of the IT professional to take into consideration. Being in a state of “high alert” by staying connected to the office via mobile technology, phone, etc. doesn’t provide that relaxation time to help you return to work feeling recharged and refreshed. Burnout rates are high in IT, and unused vacation days, or vacations that are anything but, are not helping to improve these numbers.

So what’s an IT professional to do? Check out this article entitled “The IT Pro's Vacation Planner: Must you unplug to unwind?” to help ensure your next vacation getaway is truly time away.

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Tana's Tech Tip: The Veri-Shred Purge
Tana McAtee, QA Manager

When we refer to "the purge," we're not talking about the movie, though we are referring to a latest release. In this instance, we're concerned with the most recent release of Veri-Shred and its “Purge Material” function.

Purge Material enables shred operators to schedule one-time purge material/activity so that it is not a permanent placement that continues to show up on future service orders for the specific address. Previously, these had to be manually deleted from the address.

Estimated counts, weights, and times are entered for the purge material and are accurately displayed in the projected capacity totals on the Calendar and Route Planning screens.

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VCKweb.NET Security Hold

For those times when records center clients need to ensure a box and its contents are not removed or altered, VCKweb.NET offers the Security Hold function. The customer determines who is authorized to apply Security Hold status to its box assets. Security Hold is automatically active for each customer, though it can be turned “on” or “off” for any customer.

The default setting for Security Hold is “Extra Security.” When boxes are requested with Extra Security in place, a message will appear noting the security setting has been applied and asking if the user wants to proceed.

Security Hold also allows defined users to create different types of holds, for example: destruction, legal, audit. A helpful feature for all types of Security Holds is the ability for the user to include a note providing context for the hold being applied. Once applied, all Security Hold settings also restrict any alterations to the box description or its contents. The Hold system also documents all dates, times, and user history. The key difference between these types of Security Holds and the Extra Security setting is that the box cannot be removed from the records center with the former in place vs. the latter.

VCKweb.NET’s Security Hold is another tool that records centers are able to provide their clients putting them in control of their information assets. For more info about Security Hold, please contact an ASI Support Specialist..

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