Nowadays, we’re much more used to having a running list of tasks we have to do – and not worrying so much about where we do them. We can respond to emails on our commute. We can check over a report at a coffee shop. We can video conference from our sofas.
And that’s great. When we let people choose when and where they work, they’re happier and more productive. But it does pose a challenge to your IT. How do you make sure those working at home or on the move are getting the right support? There are three ways to help those mobile workers.
1. Fix their problems remotely
Nowadays, a good engineer can rebuild an entire operating system over the internet. If your helpdesk has the right tools to connect, control and completely fix an issue over the internet then it doesn’t matter whether someone’s at a desk surrounded by paperwork or at a café surrounded by pumpkin spice. As long as they have reliable internet, we can fix their problem.
2. Set up a tech bar
When someone’s constantly on the move, it can help to set up a physical helpdesk. They can then head over there when it suits them, and get their problems sorted out on the spot.
It’s also helpful because they can physically see the queue, and plan their time accordingly. We’ve found that when people can see how many people are in front of them, they’re more willing to wait patiently for their turn: it’s less frustrating than waiting for a call back from the engineer.
3. Use the old ‘sneakernet’
Sneakernet is an old term for moving data by literally walking over town with the hard-drive (instead of sending it over the internet). It’s a term that still exists, because occasionally it’s still faster.
Likewise, it can sometimes be much easier to post your people a new computer overnight – and get them to send their broken machine in for repairs – than it is to try and fix it remotely. Especially, if they work from home or travel a lot.