The scale of employees currently working from home is unprecedented. Many people have never worked from home before for any length of time, and most companies have never experienced significant proportions of their workforce working remotely. Whilst many businesses plan to continue with a remote workforce for the foreseeable future, there is one part of your business that will face new and evolving challenges every day – your IT department.
The IT Challenge
Pre-Covid-19, your entire team was probably in one place, where they worked a defined workday and you managed their workspace and materials. We know now that remote working is here for the long term and organisations must be able to provide secure remote working solutions to empower their workforce and deliver their business strategy.
Irregular workdays require 24/7 support
Without the need to commute, or the need to physically meet with colleagues and due to childcare demands, some employees may choose to work a different work pattern than normal. Some start work at 7 a.m., while others may work until midnight. They will all require IT support services at any moment to ensure work continuity, and that could place a huge burden on your IT support team.
Responding to IT requests
Pre lockdown, if someone needed IT support in the office, they would put in a call, and IT would be on hand to help resolve their problem. Physical IT support is just not possible now that employees are in various locations. To add to this, some employees may not be tech-savvy, making it more difficult for them to explain their problems well enough for your IT team to help them. In short, responding to IT issues may take longer than usual with a remote team, and as a result, your productivity may suffer.
Quality of equipment and tools
Not everyone is set up to work from home effectively. While they may have made it work in one-off situations, or for a short period, a long-term solution is now required. Some employees may be using older, slower laptops, while others may live in poor internet areas or not have optimal Wi-Fi in their homes. Your IT team needs to find ways to support these employees and provide them with the solutions to ensure business continuity.
Protecting company networks
If your employees are working from home, your IT security will be challenged more than ever. Employees may need to access sensitive documents or systems, requiring the use of authentication methods or VPNs. They may not have access to all the applications and tools they had in the office, so they may improvise, searching for alternatives with varying levels of security and quality. If employees use their own personal networks and hardware, you also have no way of verifying their security status. It is also unlikely that they have the same level of firewall protection at home that you have provided in the office. Protecting the networks and preventing breaches is something that may fall heavily on your IT support team’s shoulders.
Work with a specialist IT support company
It is an expensive task for organisations to manage their own 24x7x365 support operation. Specialist IT support companies can lessen the burden on your in-house IT team and your business. Partnering with a managed service provider can add flexibility to your IT services as you can pay for the services you need when you need them, and scale services up and down as required. Getting additional support for your team in this way will also help you maximise the time and resources of your in-house, core IT team.
A specialist IT support company offers several advantages:
- Continuous support – get service desk support for your employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
- Effective response times – a specialist IT team is set up for working with your users remotely will provide quicker responses to IT issues and ensure business continuity.
- They can leverage their procurement deals, giving you access to the equipment your team needs to get their work done from home.
- They can support you when rolling out new applications and tools for your teams, including set up, talking users through how to use them, adding them to their computers and answering any questions they have.
Train your team to stay safe online
Now’s a great time to get that extra security training in to help your team protect themselves and your entire company from attack. Effective training will help your employees understand how to stay safe, how to identify scams, which applications they should use (and why it is imperative they stick with company mandated applications), and remind them of the actions they should undertake as soon as they see something suspicious.
Empower your remote workforce
At Transputec, we pride ourselves on delivering award winning, quality IT services and reducing IT costs for businesses and organsiations. We believe that there is no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to your company’s IT needs. Let’s have a conversation about how we can support you and boost productivity for your employees and business wherever they may be working.