If you were to ask your IT staff about how tech support for remote employees is going, they might say something along the lines of, “Fantastic! Never better!” However, if you asked remote workers the same question, their response could be far less enthusiastic.
This was among the findings of a report by IT solutions provider 1E entitled “2021: Assessing IT’s readiness for the year of flexible working,” which surveyed 150 IT workers and 150 IT managers in large U.S. organizations. The report strikingly found that, while 100% of IT managers said they believed their internal clients were satisfied with tech support, only 44% of remote employees agreed.
By now, over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become common practice. Some businesses may begin reopening their offices and facilities as employees get vaccinated and, one hopes, virus metrics fall to manageable levels. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will be heading back to a communal working environment.
Flexible work arrangements, including the option to telecommute, continue to be valuable employment features. Virtual workspaces are also generally less expensive for employers. As such, many will likely continue offering or mandating it after the pandemic fades.
For business owners, this means that providing optimal IT support to remote employees will remain a mission-critical task. Failing to do so will likely hinder productivity, lower morale, and may lead to reduced staff retention and longer times to hire — all costly detriments to the bottom line.
So, how can you ensure that you are training and taking care of your remote employees? Here are some commonsense tips:
In many cases, business owners are simply unaware of the troubles and frustrations of remote workers when it comes to technology. Develop a relatively short, concisely worded survey and gather their input.
If you have IT staffers who, for years, provided mostly in-person desktop support to on-site employees, they might not serve remote workers as effectively. Having them take one or more training courses may trigger some “ah ha!” moments that improve their interactions and response times.
Your IT support may be falling short due to lack of preparation to dealing with so many remote employees. This has been a very common problem during the pandemic. Assess whether:
Naturally, the remote workers themselves play a role in the stability and security of their devices and network connections. Require employees to undergo basic IT training and demonstrate understanding and compliance with your security and usage policies.
The pandemic has been not only a tragic crisis, but also a marked accelerator of the business trend toward remote work. We can help you evaluate your IT strategy, technology costs, measure productivity and determine whether upgrades are likely to be cost-effective.