IT Support and Remote Work
36% of working adults in the UK have reported working from home at least once, as of the National Statistics Office report for January 2022. Of those currently working at home, 85% want a hybrid work model where they can work at home or in the office in the future.
YouGov reinforces the sentiment, with their survey showing that 57% of British workers expressed the desire to continue being able to work from home after the pandemic.
Needless to say, hybrid working is here to stay.
The changing work landscape has introduced a new set of problems. One such challenge businesses now face is providing IT support, which has traditionally been a hands-on process, to remote workers.
Here’s what you can do to help your remote workforce with their IT issues.
Supply Remote Work Technology
You can’t expect your remote workers to do their jobs properly if they don’t have the proper equipment. Much like how you’ve been able to provide workstations with all the necessary devices and software for employees working at your office, you should be able to do the same for remote employees.
By supplying remote work tech, you also have greater control over IT troubleshooting concerns. You can immediately identify if it’s a hardware or app issue. As long as your employees adhere to using work-provided devices and software, you only have to account for problems native to your platform.
Set Up More Communication Channels
There are issues that may crop up during remote work that can only be addressed through specific communication channels. Emails can take too long for problems that need urgent answers. Discussions between multiple parties may also be necessary to sort out more complicated circumstances.
Workplace-focused instant messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams are good for more immediate concerns. You can create dedicated chat rooms in such platforms where employees can bring up IT issues in particular. For solutions that involve more than one remote worker, video conferencing tools like Zoom may be necessary.
Maintain 24/7 IT Support
Remote work opens up the possibility of people working in different time zones and schedules. Employees operating outside of typical office hours also need IT support. Precious time and productivity are wasted if they encounter a problem and have to wait a whole business day to recieve help.
Establishing a 24/7 IT support team is therefore necessary for businesses with a distributed workforce. A dedicated help desk can also streamline the process for remote workers looking to get in touch with your IT team.
Integrate Real-Time Remote Access
There will be times when email, text chat, or even video calls won’t be enough, and your remote workers will ask for a more hands-on approach to solve their tech issues. This is when having the ability to remotely access your employees’ devices can come in handy.
Remote access basically allows your IT staff to take control of your workers’ devices without having to be there in person. Your tech specialists can diagnose and resolve problems quickly, as if they were right there with your employees. Screen sharing can be a good alternative if for any reason remote access is not possible.
Create Helpful Resources
Not every single tech problem a remote employee runs into with their work setup needs the dedicated attention of an IT support person who may already be juggling multiple tasks. Cover all the simple issues that you believe even the least tech-savvy worker can resolve on their own with helpful guides.
Start with an FAQ that runs down the most common concerns employees have already voiced. Questions like what to do if they forget their account password, where do they save their reports, or who do they contact for more complicated problems should all be in the FAQ.
Educating your remote staff and providing them with the proper information to help themselves will save you time and effort in the long run.
Enforce Strict Cyber Security Protocols
A major cause for IT issues is a security breach. With remote work, the chances of this happening are higher. Employees could be using personal devices that have already been compromised to access your business’ network. The more relaxed environment outside the office could also lead to workers being more loose about following procedures.
There are numerous ways to reinforce your cybersecurity infrastructure for remote work:
- Use multi-factor authentication for remote access
- Change passwords regularly
- Provide antivirus software to employees
- Backup data constantly
- Create strong email filters for spam and malware
- Set up a business VPN
Outsource IT Support
Tech support is indispensable for remote work, but it does not come cheap. You need a dedicated team of professionals that can promptly address a wide variety of IT issues across a vast network of users on different devices and schedules.
You may have not even had IT staff when your business was on strictly office-based operations. Hiring full-time tech specialists to deal with the challenges of the new normal may not be within your budget.
Consider outsourcing your IT support needs. Your business can enjoy all the benefits of having computer and networking experts ready to answer all your tech problems without the additional heavy costs of hiring more staff and purchasing more equipment.
Evolvit can be your outsourced IT partner. With the help of our computer support services, you can focus on what your organisation does best. Contact us today to get started.