If you work in the IT industry your professional life has probably been changing and readjusting since the pandemic started. And when things start to look a bit more predictable a new curveball brings you back to the drawing board.
At NetBeez we’ve been going through the same experience, although from the vendor’s point of view. During this time, I’ve talked to quite a few IT folks, and here are a few things to take into consideration:
The saying goes something like this: “If it doesn’t move, wire it. If it moves, try to stop it and wire it. Use WiFi in all other cases.” WiFi is often the weak link, and that is more prevalent in home environments with consumer grade routers and non existent WiFi planning or design.
These days, we tend to hook up to WiFi without a second thought, but you should try to help your employees to cable up to their router. That might mean that you mail them cables and USB ethernet dongles, or that you educate them about the benefits of wired vs. wireless. It’s understood that wiring your device is not always possible (e.g. phones and tablets), but when possible it’s the best user experience improvement you can make.
2. Suitable Tools
Your tool set probably consisted of tools designed and built to monitor and troubleshoot issues occurring on enterprise WANs and WLANs. Most likely they were provided by your infrastructure vendor and you got experienced in using them.
An adjustment you will need to make is to reconsider what tools you need. Your employees now work from home, cafes, and different countries. They use who-knows-what hardware to connect to the Internet and their network is the Internet through VPN when needed (as opposed to corporate WAN). Your existing tools won’t cut it. You need vendor agnostic monitoring and troubleshooting tools that move with the user and adjust and monitor their ever changing “infrastructure.”
3. Be proactive
Demonstrating to your employees that you are on top of their digital experience needs and issues is of utmost value towards achieving employee satisfaction. Nothing can impress them more than being proactive with issues they might be facing. What if you could inform them ahead of time if the VPN has high latency or an application is bogged down. To take it up a notch: what if you could be so granular as telling each single one of them that their WiFi is subpar and it’s their main source of their poor digital experience and recommend to wire up their laptop if possible (see #1 above)?
This is possible today with tools like NetBeez that capture the digital user experience in terms of WiFi, ISP, device CPU/Memory and can notify the appropriate stakeholders for potential and imminent issues.
4. Plan for the long haul
By many accounts (including mine) remote work is here to stay. In that regard, adjust and plan your IT policy and strategy for the long term and avoid patch work. That may include your policies, tooling, and processes.
Most of us we were forced into this new reality, but I see that the new normal we’ll be a net positive in terms of working conditions, employee satisfaction, and better work-life balance.
5. You are not alone
If you feel you are lost more often than you are used to, remember that you are not alone. We are still going through uncharted territory and we need to be open minded to adjustments and ready to rethink and reconsider goals based on employee feedback, changes in the workplace, the competition etc.
Be kind to yourselves and reach out to friends and colleagues for advice and bouncing off ideas.