How to Provide Top-Notch IT Support for Remote Workers

IT support remote working

Working from home is now the “new normal”, but businesses are facing culture shock as they adjust to shifting their business operations online. 

If your company feels unprepared for this shift, know that there are many tools and tips to help you provide outstanding IT support for remote workers.

We’re breaking down some popular ways to ensure you have all the tools to provide IT support to your remote workers. 

The Challenges of Working Remotely

The remote workforce has grown 44 percent in the last five years.

However, the spread of COVID-19 caught everyone off guard. With stay-at-home orders implemented nationwide, businesses scrambled to keep their operations up and running with little to no preparation. 

Remote employees generally report greater job satisfaction overall, but the hasty transition prompted businesses to ask many questions:

  • Do we have enough IT staff?
  • Do we have the hardware and software to make this transition?
  • What kinds of security protocols do we need?
  • How will we keep lines of communication open?
  • How will this affect employee morale?

For many businesses, remote work was never an option previously or was deemed impossible for various reasons. But necessity is the mother of invention, and once remote arrangements materialized successfully, workers started to raise questions about IT support, security and communications.

The Challenges of Providing IT Support for Remote Workers

Employers face several hurdles when it comes to supporting remote workers:

  • Ensuring devices are up-to-date.

Issuing company-owned equipment to remote workers requires ensuring that security updates and patches are current. Managing workers who use personal devices is also an additional security risk and time-consuming task.

  • Resolving issues quickly.

How do you handle remote workers’ IT issues in a timely (and secure) fashion? Do you have the staffing necessary to attend to Help Desk calls that may be more difficult when handled at a distance? 

  • Keeping devices secure.

With the constant threat of attacks we now face (malware, unsecured Wi-Fi networks, intercepted calls and texts, credential theft and phishing), keeping devices secure has never been more important.

  • Maintaining good communication.

Remote workers often feel like they’re “out of sight, out of mind.” Finding the right communication tools is critical to maintaining camaraderie, collaboration and information flow between teams.

7 IT Tips for Supporting Remote Workers

Providing top-notch IT support for remote employees is not without its challenges. Consider implementing the following steps into any plan for supporting remote workers.

1. Make sure your IT support team is available 24/7

If you have remote staff working 24/7, your IT support staff also needs to support them 24/7. If a late-night worker has an IT issue but must wait until regular business hours to resolve it, they could lose valuable work time.

2. Provide remote desktops and devices

Many employers don’t realize their workers lack sufficient equipment to work from home. Only 52 percent of employees who work remotely are using a computer provided by their company. 

By supplying company-owned equipment to employees, you can have greater control over security measures, offer uniform access to everyone and simplify support issues.

Also, accessing company information from personal mobile devices can put your business at risk. If employees use their own equipment, having an up-to-date MDM policy protects your company’s sensitive data. An MDM policy spans several areas, including policy enforcement and management, inventory management, security management and software distribution. 

3. Embrace the cloud

Migrating enterprise functions to the cloud improves workplace efficiency and security. Besides significant cost savings, cloud computing makes backing up and restoring your data easy and software deployment seamless.

4. Implement strict security protocols

Remote workers are typically the first to face security threats. They’re often the source of network security incidents that can ripple quickly through the rest of the organization. 

It’s imperative to train employees on remote security measures that protect both data and company personnel. Use strong passwords, multifactor identification, antivirus software, malware protection and spam filters to defend against cyberattacks.

5. Set up a secure VPN

VPNs (virtual public networks) are popular among remote workers because they protect laptop data online while retaining the same security, functionality and appearance as if they were within the company network. 

Data sent through a VPN is encrypted, thwarting hackers’ attempts to capture any sensitive information.

6. Build-in remote sessions and real-time monitoring to troubleshoot remote devices

Allowing your IT staff to “take over” a remote device to diagnose and fix a problem can be a huge timesaver. 

Employees who aren’t accustomed to working remotely may encounter more IT issues at home than they did at the office. And, remote troubleshooting can be complicated and frustrating, especially for employees who aren’t as tech-savvy. 

7. Provide communication options

Email alone won’t cut it anymore, so give employees the chance to choose other communication methods that they’re comfortable with. 

Try messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams for real-time instant messaging and calling, or video conferencing apps like Zoom to handle meetings and sensitive issues. Video chat might also feel more personal to remote workers, and help in reducing their isolation or loneliness levels.

Comprehensive IT Support for Remote Employees 

Has transitioning to a remote work environment been difficult for your business? You’re not alone. 

Many companies struggled to provide proper IT support when their workers were in-house, and they’re now facing even more difficulties with remote employees.

If you want to provide top-notch IT support for remote workers, consider partnering with an experienced managed services provider to do the heavy lifting. 

When you hire Helixstorm to manage your IT, you can rest easy knowing that your data and security concerns are being taken care of for you. The cost of having that peace of mind? Priceless.

Contact us today to find out how our managed IT support services can supplement your remote work strategy.