Efficient and reliable IT support can make or break a business’ productivity; but it’s even more important now that so many employees are working remotely. Before the pandemic, workers in an office environment could lean on colleagues for troubleshooting support if they were having IT trouble or ask a member of the tech department to take a look. Dedicated IT support for many small businesses has often been disregarded, seen as a luxury expense.
With most of the country working from home, good quality remote working support is a necessity for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Remote IT support should be a top priority for your IT provider, and you should be able to rely on them for efficient, remote-specific support around the clock.
Benefits of IT support for a remote workforce
IT support focused on remote working can offer key benefits, including:
1. A boost in workforce morale
While some employees thrive in a flexible/remote working environment, others struggle. This is particularly true for those who are less technically inclined. Wrestling with software can cause added stress when under pressure. Expert and easy to obtain support can help employees maintain their motivation and stress less. A knowledgeable support adviser offering the right assistance can also boost confidence in new technologies and help employees learn how to self-serve.
2. Decreased downtime
An IT provider that can offer a fast response to issues around the clock will naturally lead to less downtime for businesses. A timely response from your support function means issues can be addressed and fixed before they escalate. A remote-specific support function should also be available 24/7 in order to maximise employee productivity. Round the clock support can accommodate an increasing number of employees who work outside of the once traditional 9-5.
Other key features of remote-specific support include remote access and monitoring services. Remote access enables a business’ IT support to take control of an employee’s desktop, meaning an issue can be fixed quicker than if support were to talk the employee through the steps. IT support departments that offer monitoring can forecast or prevent issues more efficiently, often eliminating downtime altogether.
3. Expert advice and education
As the world embraces a flexible working era, there’s an increased need for advice and education around remote working set-ups. A good quality IT provider will be able to offer real-time productivity, security, and infrastructure advice.
Your IT provider should also offer education in the form of webinars, content materials and virtual training courses. While not a replacement for expert support, education can equip employees with the knowledge to distinguish between major and minor issues and troubleshoot the latter themselves.
What IT support do you need?
Many IT providers will offer remote working specific support including the services mentioned in this blog, but it’s important that they are of a high standard. Out-of-hours support is of little use, for example, if the person at the end of the phone isn’t able to understand and troubleshoot the problem.
If you’re exploring outsourcing IT support out-of-hours, make sure the service being offered is more than ticket logging and triage. We’re seeing a lot of enquiries from companies that have outsourced 1st line to IT service providers that do no more than reference knowledge banks. When this doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s escalated back to the customers’ technical team for resolution in business hours.
Instead, best practice would be to have self-services options in place so users can access knowledge bank support themselves: and a proactive 1st line out-of-hours service desk who can provide actual support when users need it. This also reduces ticket volumes for your technical team, especially IT support requests that are really below their paygrade.
With the UK government giving no guarantees that we’ll be out of lockdown by spring, getting the right IT support for remote workers should now be a priority. Talk to us to learn more about our remote-specific IT support and how it can help your business maximise productivity and reduce downtime.