Help desks in companies implementing telework programs will experience a higher volume of calls and requests than normal, especially during the first month following implementation.
Without proper planning and infrastructure in place, the help desk can quickly become overwhelmed. This can lead to escalating support costs and decreased employee and help desk staff productivity, all potentially negating the cost savings realized by teleworking in the first place.
Teleworker Help Desk Requirements
Most teleworkers will work out of their home offices. If they do run into difficulties, these are likely to be related to connectivity issues and malfunctioning applications; especially VPN and password problems. Teleworkers IT complaints and requests are likely to be staggered throughout the day and those experiencing issues outside of normal business hours can experience loss of productivity and intense frustration. Because of this, some companies that have implemented telework programs choose to extend their help desk hours.
A help desk supporting teleworkers should be capable of the following:
” Tracking and prioritizing IT issues.
” Remotely diagnosing, troubleshooting and resolving PC issues.
” Providing training on the use of company equipment and programs.
” Providing information on how to set up home offices for top equipment function.
Multiple Methods to Access Ticketing System
Existing help desks should already be tracking and prioritizing employee issues through a help desk ticketing solution. However, given their remote nature, teleworkers should have more than one means of reporting a problem. If a teleworkers computer is not functioning properly or if they are experiencing basic connectivity issues, they will not be able to access Web and e-mail based tracking systems. Therefore, it is important to have a phone access number for employees to report issues.
IT departments should offer training and self-help solutions for simple IT issues that teleworkers may encounter, especially low priority ones that the help desk may be unable to address immediately. These self-help solutions can be in the form of:
” Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the answers.
” Teleworker training sessions and online training documents.
” Step by step self-help instructions for solving simple problems.
” Wikis where teleworkers post tips and help educate each other.
” Online message boards where changes and reoccurring problems are addressed by the help desk technicians.
Implementing self-help solutions for teleworkers will reduce the volume of calls the help desk receives. By providing troubleshooting information and training on how to set up home offices, internet connections, printers, and fax machines, companies can ease teleworker frustration and decrease downtime associated with related problems. Additionally, implementing self-help solutions will lessen the need for employees to search for software workarounds on the Internet to solve their problems, potentially leading to security issues. Obviously, benefits will only be realized if teleworkers are aware of the resources available to them. It is therefore important for the help desk to provide teleworkers with a list of available resources and where they can be accessed.
Remotely Diagnose and Resolve Problems
Teleworkers are likely to experience most of their problems at home, where there is no on-site help. As such, one of the most important and common capabilities that IT departments have is the ability to remotely diagnose and resolve computer issues. This capability serves to accelerate repair times by eliminating the hassle of carrying the computer to the office and having the technicians speculate about the problem. Generally, in Windows environments, Microsoft’s integrated Remote Assistance tool suits this purpose. However, hosted remote desktop support services that do not rely on a VPN connection, such as Citrix GoToAssist and LogMeIn Rescue, can serve as a more versatile solution for larger distributed environments.
Sometimes a problem cannot be resolved remotely and the malfunctioning computer must be sent to the IT department for remediation. In these cases, it is necessary for IT to have spares or loaner machines on hand that can be couriered to the teleworker to prevent teleworker downtime.
1. Provide multiple methods of contacting the help desk. This allows teleworkers to contact the help desk regardless of their IT problem.
2. Create a self-help toolset for teleworkers. This allows teleworkers that are experiencing low priority issues to address them on their own.
3. Offer teleworker application and office set up training. Offering teleworker training on how to set up a home office and properly configure the home internet connection and other equipment will reduce the number of preventable complaints that the help desk receives.
4. Have the ability to remotely diagnose and resolve problems. This will help reduce teleworker frustration and downtime.
Teleworking has specific help desk challenges that must be addressed and accounted for in the project planning stage of the program. Doing so will prevent the help desk from being inundated by teleworker support requests and help mitigate teleworker performance and frustration issues.
The HR industry s premier online community and resource for Human Resource professionals. HR, human resources, HR community, human resources community, HR best practices, best practices in human resources, online communities for HR, HR articles, HR news, human resources articles, human resources news, HR events, leadership, performance management, staffing and recruitment, benefits, compensation, staffing, recruitment, workforce acquisition, human capital management, HR management, human resources management, HR metrics and measurement, organizational development, executive coaching, HR law, employment law, labor relations, hiring employees, HR outsourcing, human resources outsourcing, training and development
hr.com. human resources management resources for hr professionals. | HR menus | HR events | HR Sitemap