Do you have workers who travel frequently or often work away from the office setting? If so, your IT service desk has particular challenges to overcome. This is particularly true if your workers often have to leave the region or country to do their jobs. Here is your guide to offering your remote workers on the move great service and support.
1. Make Services and Support Available 24/7
The more scattered your workforce becomes, the more crucial it is to provide services around the clock so that workers in China and Singapore receive the same great service as those in Chicago or London, without having to worry about what time zone they are in. One of the best ways to do this is to implement a cloud-based ITSM solution that workers can access remotely anytime of the day or night. This allows workers to use self-service options and get issues handled promptly, even when the usual help desk workers are out of the office.
2. Upgrade Network Security Measures
Traveling workers also pose greater security threats, because their devices are constantly at risk of being lost, stolen, or broken. Unfortunately, airline baggage gets lost, workers have to eat at unfamiliar restaurants, and bags just get dropped. It is critical to establish a policy of not leaving devices unattended while logged in. You also need a way for the IT department to erase or disable a device that comes up missing during travel. Also, establish a policy for password strength and using public Wi-Fi, or equip your workers with portable Wi-Fi units.
3. Establish a Robust Asset Management System
Whether your workers take their own electronic devices (such as in BYOD environments) or use company-owned devices, it’s crucial to use an asset management system to keep track of devices accessing your network and to monitor the lifecycle of those devices. Asset management will alert you when unknown devices are attempting to access your network (or devices from a part of the world where you shouldn’t have any workers), and will assure that all of the workers using your software packages are fully licensed to do so.
4. Provide Workers with the Right Equipment
Do workers need access to a fully-functional laptop or notebook, or is a tablet and/or smartphone adequate? Take into account the types of software packages they will need to access and be sure the application is compatible with smaller mobile devices. Also, will the app’s mobile-enabled features allow the worker to do any high-level tasks required? If the worker is leaving the country, you’ll also need to consider how prevalent high-speed Internet access is where they are going, and what those out-of-area charges will be. Consider personal Wi-Fi hotspots for workers who need heavy Internet access in places where the Internet is spotty, unreliable, or extremely expensive. Workers need to know they have the same high level of support away from the office as they do back home.
5. Set Up a Hierarchy for Communications
You also need to prepare for situations when the normal troubleshooting isn’t working. Traveling workers can find themselves (and their equipment) in some interesting and confounding situations. Establish a hierarchy of communications, so that if your first or second tier of help desk associates isn’t able to find a suitable solution within a reasonable time, there is someone else available to take over and resolve the issue.
Fortunately, there is an ever-growing set of devices and software solutions to help manage traveling workers and remote workers around the globe. Look into free and affordable options such as Google Docs and other cloud-based services, which can be used securely in cases where the traveling worker has trouble accessing your internal systems.