Improving your remote workforce with IT managed services
2020 was the year the world dove headfirst into working remotely. For some industries, this transition was fairly smooth. They’d been utilizing remote employees for years, and the changes brought on by this incredibly strange year simply required them to expand on what they were already doing. The transition would be considerably more difficult for companies that found themselves managing remote employees for the first time.
If the new reality of managing a remote team feels daunting, or if you just need someone to take up mundane tasks that have been bogging your team down, investing in IT Managed Services can clear some of the clutter from the plates of people learning how to manage remote employees.
What are IT Managed Services?
Most companies, large and small, can benefit from using a Managed Services Provider (MSP) in one way or another. Managed Services are what we call the outsourcing of responsibility for maintaining and managing systems for a customer. IT Managed Services are the outsourcing of those responsibilities for the IT infrastructure or end-user systems for the client. Outsourcing your IT needs to a Managed Services Provider can provide small companies with professional IT services, and large companies with a complement to their in-house teams.
What are the main business benefits of IT Managed Services?
Managing remote workers can be exhausting if you’ve never done it before. You’re thrown a learning curve that forces you to figure out how to connect remote employees with critical resources that are located in the office. IT Managed Services providers offer a range of benefits that save companies money and improve employee productivity.
One way it does this is by breaking the break/fix cycle in equipment. Hardware often comes with a large upfront price tag, and the technology slowly fades from relevance until it breaks. By routinely updating and maintaining the system and anticipating needs, IT Managed Services companies save clients time and money by reducing or eliminating downtime due to hardware. One missed sale during that downtime may have been enough to cover your Managed Services for the year, so staying online is crucial.
Another benefit of an IT Managed Services Provider is the support they provide in managing a remote workforce. Managed Services Providers provide that support by enabling remote employees to work as efficiently in their homes as they do in the office. To better understand this benefit, it’s helpful to understand some of the challenges that remote workers face.
Some common challenges for remote workers
Working from home introduces a new set of challenges that every new remote worker must face at one point or another. Balancing the freedom and loneliness that comes from a new influx of alone time can be tough. Once you get your emotions in check, you’ll also have to address the logistical constraints you may be in for.
- Distractions at home – For remote employees who were thrown to the home without an office, distractions are a very real possibility. Workers who were suddenly thrust into multiple roles throughout their short days may find that quiet time and quiet spaces come at a premium. Hiring a third party to keep the team working together can help those remote employees maximize their time.
- Lack of in-person supervision – Even if the employee has no kids or family to supervise, distractions and mental blocks can be challenging when working from home. Being alone can be a distraction in itself. Companies that embrace video conferencing do their teams a world of good by keeping the visual cues in our communications and nurturing the rapport supervisors have with their teams.
- No access to info – Some workplaces simply aren’t set up for the world of remote team management. When they send employees out into the world, those employees have a hard time accessing vital information needed for performing their jobs well. An IT Managed Services company can give them the access they need to do what they need from any device, in any location.
How to improve the remote workforce
Some challenges associated with working remotely will have to be dealt with by the employee, while others can be mitigated by savvy management personnel. Things like distractions and insufficient office space will work themselves out as employees set up their own systems of personal management, and are of little cause for concern with enterprising employees.
Where a company’s approach to remote workforce management shines is in its ability to solve the logistical issues like access to information, solid IT support for remote workers, and keeping the lines of communication open and used often. The first two of these issues are easily solved with IT Managed Services.
Will I save money with a Managed Services Provider?
As with any service, most people want to know if it is cost-effective. If something can be handled for cheap, we love it. If the solution can save us money, even better. Since most Managed Services contracts can be fitted to your personal needs, those cost savings will vary based upon your desired level of service.
In most cases, IT Managed Services can provide cloud-based servers, maintained by IT professionals. Even a small company will benefit from not having to invest in purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware. Hiring a third party allows you to keep your technology up to date, have it serviced by specialists, and reduce potential downtime. The sharing of resources means that each of them comes at a fraction of the normal cost.
How do I find the right managed IT services provider?
If you’ve spent some time learning how to manage employees remotely, and are still encountering hurdles, it may be time to consider Managed Services. Finding the right provider begins with identifying your needs. Some IT Managed Services providers may have better support, while others offer lower costs. Also, different offerings within the same company will fit your business better than others, so getting to know what you need is the all-important first step.