Category Archives: Around the Office

Navigating Sick Days: Strategies for Business Continuity

Ever fall behind on tasks due to sudden illness or personal emergencies? You and your employees can’t plan out all of your time off when it comes to the unexpected. However, there are strategies you can implement to keep your business running smoothly even when you or your employees are sick or need to take time off.

Navigating Sick Days: Strategies for Business Continuity

Keeping your business running smoothly when you or your employees are sick or need time off is crucial for maintaining productivity and meeting deadlines. Some strategies you can take to help manage unexpected absences are:

Document Processes & Procedures

To keep your business running when an employee is absent, essential tasks need to be documented and readily available to your team. Create detailed documentation for all important processes and procedures within your business. Think of them like step-by-step guides. This makes it easier for someone else in your team to follow the steps necessary to complete important tasks that are usually done by someone else.

Stay Connected with Technology

When it comes to tasks in progress and open tickets, having a way to keep track of everyone’s work will make it easier to keep tasks from falling through the cracks due to absent employees. If an employee is sick, can you access what work they were trying to complete? Using shared project management tools, communication apps, and cloud-based systems make it easier for your team to step in for an absent teammate and cover any time sensitive responsibilities.

Be Transparent with your Customers

When an employee needs sudden time off, there may be tasks and tickets that still need addressed. For open tasks that have a client waiting, reach out to the associated client to inform them of the situation. Keeping your clients informed about your employee’s absence will help clients understand the delay. It can also help identify projects that will need to be escalated to a different teammate in the meantime.

Want to learn more?

Here at BCSE, we have had to navigate unexpected absences many times. Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where Carrie shares her experiences with the unexpected and what systems you need to have in place to keep your business afloat.

Furry Coworkers: The Surprising Benefits of Pets in the Office

Do you have a furry co-worker at your office? Whether you work from home or in-person, office pets can be a great addition to your company. Introducing pets into the workplace can offer numerous benefits, both for employees and the company as a whole. Today, let’s talk about the benefits that furry co-workers can bring to your office!

Furry Coworkers: The Surprising Benefits of Pets in the Office

Some of us work from home alongside our pets or have a special office pet that resides in the company building. While pets come with a set of responsibilities, such as food, vet trips, and attention, office pets can positively impact the daily grind at work:

Stress Reduction

Having an office pet can make your office a more comfortable place to be in. When you find yourself stressing over a task and getting frustrated, interacting with your office pet can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. These pets can act as a shoulder to lean on and a positive presence for you and your team, creating a calm atmosphere in the workplace.

Improve Morale

Having a loyal furry companion at your workplace can foster a sense of camaraderie amongst your team. By relying on your office pet for companionship and emotional support, team members can build closer connections through their shared experiences with their furry co-workers. These shared experiences boost morale amongst the team.

Increase Productivity

Less stress means happier employees. Office pets support us emotionally and act as our constant companions, making us happier at work. Employees who are less stressed and happier tend to be more focused and motivated in their work, increasing company productivity.

Encourage Physical Activity

As mentioned before, pets are a responsibility. They need regular walks and playtime, but these responsibilities can help us take breaks and engage in physical activity. For many of us, sitting at a desk all day can decrease our energy levels and cause pain in our bodies. Having an office pet that encourages you to get up and move can improve your health and general well-being.

Positive Public Image

Having an office pet or allowing pets in the office can make your company an appealing place to work at and visit. They offer great icebreakers and conversation starters for both your employees and potential clients. They can also improve your company’s reputation, portraying the organization as progressive, inclusive, and employee centric, which can be appealing to customers, clients, and business partners.

Want to learn more?

At BCSE, we have our own furry co-workers: Mac & Brie. Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where Carrie shares the story of how BCSE took our two office cats and how they have reshaped the daily grind!

Digital Cleanup: 5 Steps to Start De-cluttering your Desktop Screen

Having a clean workspace is essential to your productivity and efficiency! This includes your digital work spaces as well. Cleaning up your digital workspace can seem intimidating, especially since you can’t always see everything that needs to be cleaned up. One of the easiest ways to get started with digital cleanup is to start with the area you see every day: your desktop screen.

Digital Cleanup: 5 steps to Start Decluttering your Desktop Screen

How to Start De-cluttering your Desktop

Your desktop screen is like your digital desk. While a physical desk has planners, sticky notes, pens, and other resources to organize your workday, your desktop is often the next stop in your work routine. Just like cleaning off your desk, there are a few easy ways to get started with cleaning up your desktop screen.

Organize Your Files

One common habit many of us may have is saving files to our desktop screens when we aren’t too sure where they should go yet. It’s easy to access at the moment, but after a few months of doing this, you may find that there are way too many files cluttering up your screen! Take the time to organize these files. Put the files in their appropriate folders and sub-folders, or, for those files that don’t have an existing folder collection that suits them, create a new one. Take your time to organize them in a way that makes sense to you so that you can find them easily in the future!

Delete Unnecessary Files

When looking through files on your desktop, determine if you still need them. Many files you download to either your desktop screens or your downloads folder tend to be temporary assets that you may not anymore. Delete those files once you are sure they are unnecessary.

Backup Important Information

When it comes to important files or folders of information, you may consider backing them up during your digital cleanup process. This could include backing up important work files and folders to a cloud storage system like Google or One Drive. While your desktop is your main area of work, there are risks to storing important information only on your desktop computer. In case your computer dies, your files get corrupted, or you accidentally delete something that needed, a backup will ensure that your most important files are safe.

Review your Auto-Start Programs

Depending on your computer’s startup settings, you may have applications that are set to automatically start when you turn on your computer. During the digital cleanup process, review these applications. Do you still use them? How often? If you find some applications that you have been closing out the moment they turn on, or you just don’t use them every day, consider editing your startup settings to turn off those applications. If you find that you don’t use some of those applications at all, you may want to delete them entirely!

Want to learn more?

Digital cleanup should be part of your work routine. After all, the cleaner your digital environment, the more productive you will be! Listen to our most recent eCommerce Made Easy Podcast to learn more about steps to add to your digital cleanup routine, as well as how often you should consider de-cluttering certain parts of your digital workspace!

How to Effectively Work from Home

Effectively working from home can be a challenge, especially if you are not already used to it. Our original BCS Engineering staff worked in my house or in their own house in the early years. Working from home has several positives and several negatives. Navigating those to create the proper balance will help you be able to effectively work from home.

Positives of Working from Home

There are many positives from working from home. From personal to professional and in-between. For example, you can throw in a load of laundry when you take a small break from work. This not only lets you take a nice mental break from work to refresh your brain, but it also helps you get a chore done you wouldn’t other wise be able to if you were at work.

  • Get more sleep because you no longer have the work commute time
  • Do small chores during your work breaks
  • Eat healthier because you can cook your lunch
  • Be home with your pets
  • Work from anywhere
  • Use your workout equipment while taking a brief break

Negatives of Working from Home

While there are many positives from working from home, there are also some downsides from both a personal and professional standpoint. For example, over achieving people can fall into the trap of working all waking hours and never truly getting a break and having down time. I originally fell into this trap. I was working from about 8am until about 5pm, then working again after the kids went to bed from 9pm until 12am. It took a lot of work and effort to break this habit of mine and realize, it was OK to not work that many hours in a day!

  • Potential to becoming a workaholic
  • Not taking time for yourself
  • Missing out on a work ‘family’
  • Distractions, especially if you have children at home with you
  • Becoming too distanced from others

Effective Work from Home Tips

If you do find the need to work from home, or even the want to work from home, there are some guidelines and tips that will help you have a productive and healthy home work environment.

Home Office Setup

In particular, to be effective at home and balance a needed rest time in your day, I highly recommend having a separate ‘work’ area from the rest of your house. This could be simply a specific desk that you only do work at, or it could be an extra room. Having a consistent place you sit down to work, and do nothing but work from this location, helps you keep a line between work and personal time. This doesn’t mean you can’t take your laptop and work outside if it’s a nice day, but having a consistent place that you normally do work helps you mentally.

I also recommend your office area be tidied up on a regular basis. This could be daily or weekly. I usually don’t recommend less often than that. And tidy doesn’t mean ‘perfect,’ it just means it needs to be, by your standards, uncluttered. I usually do have ‘that stack of papers,’ but I know what’s in my stack of papers and I know I’ll get to that stack when I need to. The goal here is to not have anything uncluttered and unknown in your brain. That causes internal conflict and stress while you are working as well as while you are not when you see that mess!

Keep things you need daily in arms reach! This will keep you more efficient. If you use it daily, keep it close. Weekly, a little farther away (maybe an office chair roll away). Something you only occasionally need? Keep that even farther. The main goal is to keep things you always need right there so you don’t have to get up.

Work from Home Schedule

Just like you would have a schedule if you worked outside the home, you need to have a schedule at home. This will help you be more consistent, efficient and allow you to give yourself permission to not work when it’s time to not work!

Get up at about the same time every day, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, shower, etc. Put on comfortable clothes, but I recommend something more than just sweats. You’ll feel more like you are going to work if you do a normal morning routine and put on something more than just lounge clothes!

Plan for your lunch time, make sure you eat your lunch away from your work area. Just like it’s healthy when at work, to get up away from your desk for lunch, it is also healthy when you work from home. You need that mental break from work, so you can recoup your brain and be ready for the afternoon set of work.

Have a scheduled stop time. This can vary a little, but set a time range of when you will stop working. Maybe for you that would be between 5pm and 5:30. But have a consistent time frame. This helps give you permission to get up away from your work, and have time for your personal life.

Take Breaks when Working from Home

Just like you should take breaks in a work environment, you need to also take breaks when working from home. You could go for a 10 minute walk. You could put in a load of laundry. You could load the dishes. Think of something that you either enjoy doing, or something that if you did, you’d feel a sense of relief (which is why I have chores in there too!)

Get out of the House!

Like actually do it! Make sure you get out of the house regularly! You want to make sure you have enough social interaction. Even if you are more introverted, getting out with a friend (or friends) regularly is very good for your overall health.


In summary, weight the positives and negatives for you. This will vary based upon your personality and normal tendencies. Make sure you have a good home office area set up, have a routine, take breaks and get out of the house! If you feel overwhelmed or don’t feel like you are effective working from home, take a look at each piece, pull it apart, try something new or different and see what works best for you!

Athens Ohio is about to Double in Size!

Our city is about to double in size and go from about 25,000 people to about 45,000! Ohio University classes start Monday! Most of us at BCSE have at least one degree from this wonderful university!

Ohio University is the state’s first university, established in 1804 and is situated in beautiful South Eastern Ohio. Every Spring, the city “breathes out” when the students leave and the locals enjoy a much quieter few months. Then every Fall, we breathe back in around 20,000 students to the Athens campus. We enjoy the diversity and culture that the university brings to this unique area of the state.

Once you’ve lived here and experienced the city, you will never find a place quite like Athens Ohio!

Read more about Ohio University:

Holiday Party 2017!

On Tuesday December 19th, despite several staff members not feeling 100%, we had a very nice holiday party! We had a very nice luncheon as well as a first time ever, White Elephant gift exchange at the office! It was a ton of fun.



The engineers in us though found it particularly interesting that when we were done, everyone got the opposite person’s gift.  So Kellen got Carrie’s gift and Carrie got Kellen’s, Lori got Lynn’s gift and Lynn got Lori’s, Terry got Stacy’s gift and Stacy got Terry’s, Luke got J.D.’s gift and J.D. got Luke’s, Brandon got Henry’s gift and Henry got Brandon’s!


We hope you have an awesome Christmas and Holiday season and a Happy New Year!


  • The Staff at BCSE

BCSE Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary!

15 Years of Business for BCSE!

November was an exciting month for BCSE! We celebrated our 15 year anniversary with an open house and ribbon cutting at our office location at 486 Richland Avenue.

Since establishing their company in 2002 in the basement of their home, Carrie & Brandon Saunders have grown BCS Engineering to 7 full-time and 3 part-time employees providing ecommerce, shopping cart & hosting expertise to a world-wide client base. We are passionate about helping others grow their businesses and finding the right solutions to help our customers succeed!

We thank you, our customers and friends, for supporting us on this terrific journey.  Here’s to many more years of serving you all near and far while also supporting our local community!

BCSE Has Moved!!

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Thank you for all of your patience and support as we moved to our new Business home several weeks ago!  We are now happily moved into our new office space at 486 Richland Ave. Athens OH 45701.

Overall, the move went very well! We had a total of 7 staff members moving equipment and taking great care of our servers to ensure minimal downtime.  They started working Friday at 9pm after a full day’s work (although a few never stopped working) and continued through about 2pm on Saturday.  The rest of the staff members, spouses, and family members joined us at 9am on Saturday to move our desks, work computers, supplies, etc. so we were ready to work and fully support your businesses on Monday!

We’ve settled in nicely and we are looking forward to the new opportunities and efficiency of our ‘forever’ home. We have a few more construction items to be completed before we can utilize our space to it’s maximum potential and hope to have that work completed in the near future.

We really appreciate your patience and support during this big transition.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to Contact Us!

BCS Engineering Acquires Cardinal Computing

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BCS Engineering is thrilled to announce that we have acquired Cardinal Computing!  This business expansion allows us to now offer graphic design as well as computer, laptop, smartphone & mobile device repair.

Cardinal Computing is an Athens, OH based business that was founded in 2014 and has serviced many area businesses in computer repair and graphic design.  BCSE has wanted to expand into this arena for sometime so this was a perfect fit for both businesses.

If your interested in graphic design or repair of your computer or mobile devices, don’t hesitate to contact us!  We offer on-sight and drop off options for repair.  Contact Us for more information!

We Will Miss You Joel!

Friday, 2/12/16 is Joel’s last day with us.  While we are all sad to see him go, we are excited for him and also his wife Jia as they set off on this new adventure!

We want to thank Joel for his nearly 9 years of dedicated service to BCSE.  He’s been a terrific employee and co-worker that will be difficult to replace.  We will miss his commitment, expertise and fun personality around the office…and also his homemade beer.

Best of luck to you Joel!  Oh, and if you’re ever back in town don’t forget to drop by to visit and bring us some of your home brew.  You will be missed.