Making IT support less stressful

As organisations move to remote working, the pressure on IT support workers grows. Not only do they have to manage the shift in their own businesses, many will also be dealing with a surge in customer queries.

IT support has always been an exercise in prioritising demand, and that can be stressful in ordinary times – let alone during a global pandemic. Covid-19 is confining whole populations to their homes and, as a result, employees are grappling with new technology challenges – which they expect IT support to resolve.

But who supports the IT support team?

If you are responsible for an IT support team, think about ways to help them remain motivated and able to do their best by your staff, your customers and your company. A good way to start is to think about the daily challenges in their role, which can be:

  • Having to read through every incoming email to find out what the issue is
  • Spending more time prioritising emails then resolving problems
  • Dealing with unhappy and impatient customers (internal and external)
  • No time to work on interesting challenges because they are stuck on low-value tasks

What these four issues have in common is that they lead to frustration. It’s frustrating to have to read through dozens of repetitive mails and to spend more time triaging rather than fixing problems. It’s frustrating dealing with grumpy customers, while all the time wanting to get to projects that provide greater job satisfaction.

So, how can you provide support?

It could be spreading the load so that one or two team members aren’t burdened with all the mundane tasks – or even better, finding ways to automate incoming emails and thereby eliminate most of the low value work.

You might also want to ensure the team can chat informally to each other over a confidential messaging service to keep the culture of the team alive. And, once everyone has adjusted to the new way of working, thinking about stretch assignments for each member of the team so that they can continue to be challenged.

By Aportio