Can you relate to the challenges mentioned below?
It has already been over a year since every business across the globe had to adjust their working habits due to a pandemic. Work from home is “a new standard” now, so the majority of company employees are working remotely. Does that mean that this setup is here to stay? There are tons of articles about the future of work, without a clearly defined vision, but I sure hope some sort of in-person socializing will return to our workplaces.
In any case, our reality will surely consist of a variety of different approaches, and one of them will include remote working, which means that providing the best possible technical support is essential.
What are the main challenges for IT support in remote environments?
Everyone, especially the IT industry had to make adjustments, and/or major changes and implement innovative solutions, obtain new tools to support the remote employees, however, this pandemic has crystalized many issues, that we may have not thought about prior. It’s not always exclusively about technology. Even if we weaponize ourselves with all the possible gadgets that can help us, we still have other challenges that didn’t play such a significant role before.
Here are a couple of remote workplace challenges that we’ve experienced over the last year, perhaps some of them sound very familiar to you as well:
- Network – one of the main challenges we’ve faced while supporting remote employees is related to network bandwidth at their home office. Poor internet connection or multiple home users connected simultaneously to the same router can be one of the reasons for a slow network. Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over home internet speed, connection, and equipment maintenance, so this may serve as potential bottlenecks and security holes in each home.
- In this case, the best scenario is education. Training and consultative support of your employees will enable them to confidently address the issue. You should explain to them how bandwidth is working and what they can do to reduce the number of simultaneous connections at the time to get a higher speed on their devices. You can advise your employees to follow up with their Internet Service Providers to check if their equipment is up to date with firewalls enabled. This just might be a win-win you were looking for.
- Performance – we have been trying to elevate device performance for over a decade now, making sure we increase the speed and efficiency of the devices. Yet, this year has undermined all the efforts, since now we’re mostly reliant on connectivity strength for performance quality, regardless if we use software or corporate resources over VPN clients. It’s painful to observe device performance decline, but even more disturbing is the fact that IT support has to work twice as hard to restore the quality of performance of those machines.
- One of the options that might be viable is setting up a VDI infrastructure, which obviously requires extra implementation, knowledge, and support. Even if that is the route you choose to take, it important to remember that this solution will still rely on the internet connection, thus if your employees don’t have Fiber then you won’t see much of a difference. Sadly, I don’t have any permanent one-fits-all solution for this particular issue, as it’s a work in progress, but if you have any ideas or had success managing this challenge, please share in the comments below.
- Support – this might be one of the most frustrating challenges for both parties: your service desk, and remote employees. Not every organization has the required number of resources and skills for 24/7 support to all their remote employees. In addition to that, there has to be an accessible platform for remote support, and not every IT department has that. One of my pet peeves is waiting several days for a response on my ticket or staying on the phone for hours with the IT service desk but given the unprecedented times and the fact that humans adapt to anything, learning to be patient.
- One of the small wins and first steps could be implementing self-service portals for your remote employees, so they are able to reset passwords themselves. Strive to search and implement solutions that fit your particular support structure, and consequently, you will be able to resolve most of the issues without disturbing your remote employees. Perhaps you have the resources to create an internal site where remote employees can see a service desk queue, so they are aware when they can expect a call or a fix to their problem, to minimize the frustration and set expectations.
If you are seeking a powerful user-friendly solution for remote device management in real-time, please follow the link and see if the RDM might be just what you were looking for RDM – Remote Device Management platform for IT professionals (uoncloud.com). This solution does not require infrastructure and could help you save time and money.
I hope you found this information useful and may consider implementing a few changes, to make your future work environment more efficient and comfortable for both: your remote employees as well as yourself.
I’m happy to answer your questions and read your suggestions in the comments below.
Written by Martins Kurtiss