May 12, 2020

Now that Everyone Works from Home, How is the Holding up of your Helpdesk?

If your company is one of the many that transitions to a modern workforce’s new “standard,” you understand the difficulties that come with helping staff, contractors, gig workers and others in the workplace make the transition to remote working. There’s a lot to learn in the new paradigm of home-based office environments, from getting the hang of technology for virtual meetings to discovering new ways of safely logging into systems. When you work to reduce detrimental effects on the employees, don’t forget the impact on the people who make it happen for everyone else: the IT staff and helpdesk.

If you think the transition is stressing you out:

Increased anxiety is a common consequence of dramatic change, and stressing the move to a fully remote work environment is usual for the entire organization. In particular, the IT and helpdesk teams are likely to feel stressed. They are on the front line, building and deploying infrastructure as quickly as they can to allow safe remote access, and providing the support to keep it running smoothly. And they’re probably doing it from home, where they have to adjust to a new way of operating themselves. So much as any other employee – if not more so – in today’s demanding conditions they need to be able to hit the ground running to work productively to efficiently.

Minimizing the burden with Automation and User Self-Service:

You rely on IT and Helpdesk workers to set up users, function in a secure and efficient manner, as fast as possible. The more technologies they can rely on to help them get this done, the better for everyone. One of the main tasks associated with allowing remote workforce is to make it easy for users to safely log in from outside the traditional workplace. Search for identity and access management tools that automate the deployment of authentication methods to users to keep things moving quickly and avoid overburdening IT. Self-service is also crucial to allowing users to set up quickly and easily without having to rely on the helpdesk to help with initial enrollment (or later, with issues such as resetting passwords or recovering credentials). Remember, too, that you need authentication that integrates seamlessly with your core networking infrastructure; there is no time for IT to build web-based custom integration. Instead, search for a solution that has already been tested and approved to operate in different environments.

More Opportunities to Assist Those Who Serve Everyone Else:

Once things are up and running smoothly, IT and helpdesk teams are crucial to keeping it that way – and just as vulnerable to daunting demands as they were in the early stages. There will still be users reaching out to say, “I can’t communicate with the VPN” or “IM doesn’t function,” to mention only a few common problems. Think about measures you can take to ensure the helpdesk will respond effectively outside technology. One solution that I propose is to have “champions” in place across business lines that can act as IT help conduits when other users in the remote workforce face the same problem, or when a problem persists. This means just one user instead of hundreds connecting to the support team to tackle a problem.

If you want to conduct long-term remote workforce operations or return to a more conventional work environment once the immediate need is over, having the right structures in place will ensure business continuity and the flexibility required for a stable workforce in the midst of any disruption. Critical to your success are choices that keep your IT and helpdesk teams as productive, effective and stress-free as possible.

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