Many people now prefer to work remotely at home than to report at the brick and mortar office daily. It saves them a lot of stress and removes the need to spend money on transportation. It also enables people to work in familiar, beloved environment of their homes. 10 years from now, you will find 5 times more members of staff of companies working from home compared to what obtains today. Many more companies are adopting the remote work system since it rends it improve efficiency. Many companies that have adopted the traditional office environment for all employees over the years are now having a rethink. This trend has been accentuated by the Covid-19 health crisis when shutdown forced non-essential companies to switch to a fully remote operation almost overnight. Since then, many companies have announced plans to keep the remote work option permanent, either partially or completely.
Working at home however comes with a new lot of problems as staff members are not able to obtain immediate and direct support from the IT department to resolve tech-related issues. Furthermore, working from home may mean the use of new equipment and the use of a Wi-Fi network outside the corporate network. Here are 6 tips to consider when providing IT support for your remote workforce.
Use fully integrated software tools
One of the best ways to provide adequate IT support for your remote workforce is to provide fully integrated software tools for each of them. This way, your remote works of your work-from-home staff members will not be disturbed by any poorly-integrated app or system. Proper IT support will ensure that the remote workforce can get connected to the relevant departments for an easy running of operations even from a remote location. This can be done via instant messaging apps and video calls. With the right tool in place, remote workers can get their jobs done without any fear of hampered productivity. Putting the right IT support in place ensures that their works will not be hindered by things like usability issues, VPN bandwidth accessibility issues and so on.
It is also important to make use of a solid remote monitoring and management tool, in order to proactively monitor the health of the computer they are using, and have remote access software in place in order to be able to quickly step in to assist with issues and avoid wasting time on lengthy phone or zoom calls.
Modification of operational policies
Adequate IT support will ensure a proper modification of the company’s operational policies towards putting remote workers into consideration. It is unfortunate that the remote working policies in many organizations are informal and give no room to remote workers. Professional IT support will find a quick solution to this problem so that all members of staff can access important data and information when working remotely. Giving permission to remote workers to access important data does not have to compromise the company’s security. Additional flexibility will be required while making sure basic security procedures are followed.
Check your specific needs
The particular information or data that the remote worker needs to access can determine how much permission you grant to the off-site worker. It also determines the particular type of IT support to be given to the remote worker. You may want to find out the particular tools or functionalities required by the remote worker for effective operation from home. Is the remote worker saddled with slow transition to centralizing communication and digitizing paperwork? These are the areas the IT department will focus on.
Opportunity to assess operation
You can use the experiences of the remote workers to assess the areas of the company’s IT operations that require modification. You can use it to detect those operational processes that cause bottlenecks so that the IT department can work on it to improve services and operation quality.
Prevent cyber security risk
While allowing remote workers to bypass the firewall and access the company’s data and information from a remote location, you also need to understand that this can pose a risk to the security of the company. So, the IT department needs to ensure that the company does not get exposed to security problems while opening its door to remote workers.
The IT department needs to put modalities in place that will ensure proper communication among members of staff while they work off-site. The communication should replicate what happens in the normal office setting as much as possible to bring about a smooth-sail of operation in spite of the remote working status of some of the employees. It is essential to touch base with remote workers in a proactive manner to make sure that everything is working properly, and not just wait to react when they come up with issues. This would go a long way in making their work easier and make them feel that despite them not being physically at the office, they have a team of professionals ready to support them with their IT needs.