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Supporting a Remote Workforce – A Day in the Life of IT

A day in the life of our IT Support Engineer

 

With the sudden transition of entire organisations to remote working, Natilik wanted to catch up with IT Support Engineer, Sufyan Patel, to find out how his day-to-day has changed. What challenges he has been facing, the key tools that have enabled him to continue to support everyone is working from home.

 

What is the most common ask you're getting from your workforce?

We’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of audio issues and with that, a large growth in the number of the team requesting headsets. As we’re not currently working in the office, they don’t have access to their desk phone and are using Jabber and Webex to conduct meetings and calls. Some of the team were already set up with headsets for home use, but many weren’t. We feel it’s important for everyone to have access to headsets, as it improves the quality of calls and makes working from home easier. Going hands-free on calls is especially important if they’re having back to back meetings.

 

What's been the most challenging aspect of everyone working from home?

One of the most challenging parts of having the whole team working from home is troubleshooting and solving issues that arise. When we were all in the office colleagues could come over to my desk and talk to me about issues they were having. I’d be able to go on their laptop to troubleshoot and within 20 minutes any issue would be resolved. Our current situation poses an extra challenge as it must be done remotely. This is more complicated and takes slightly longer due to having to take time to connect into the system remotely.

 

Getting equipment out to users who need it has also posed some difficulties in the current climate. If someone needs something urgently, we’ve had to work around delivery delays. This had led to me having to transform areas of my house into mini IT storage spaces!

 

What worked well during the transition period and why?

Webex Teams and Webex Meetings have made the transition to everyone working from home more seamless than it would have been without them. The first couple of weeks saw an increase in the number of support requests. Having these tools at my disposal allows me to communicate over instant messenger to get quick replies that help complete any initial troubleshooting. If it turns out to be an issue which is slightly more complicated, the user can easily join my personal room on Webex where we can use the video and screen sharing functionality to dive deeper into the issue and find the solution.

 

Additionally, the use of Cisco Meraki has been a great help in allowing me to deal with issues whilst we are all working remotely. Most of our engineers are setup with a Meraki device, which has allowed them to continue to assist any clients with their systems whilst working from home.

 

What has been the most important piece of technology that you have at your disposal?

I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint a specific technology above all others. We’re lucky that we came into this with existing technology in place to be able to support our workers being remote. Tools such as VPN and Meraki have been great in being able to provide us with access, visibility and control of the network across the entire company. The extra layer of security from having DUO setup and providing two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorised access of our applications and data, gave the whole team real peace of mind.  

 

Do you have any advice for others in the same situation? 

I would say to ensure that you have a good home working environment, a place you can go and focus without any distractions. Setting up specific working space at my house has really helped to improve my work life balance, as I know when I'm in that space that it's time to work and when I leave at the end of the day I can properly switch off and relax. 

 

Many thanks to Sufyan for providing an insight into his new normal. Hopefully his insights will help you support your remote workforce. If you have any questions or want any additional information about the tools mentioned above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager or reach out to us at hello@natilik.com