Providing Effective IT Support in a Remote Work Era

What Effective IT Support Means in a Remote Work Era

The signs are clear: remote work is here to stay. At the height of lockdowns, the number of people working remotely had surged by 44%. Since then, organizations have increasingly embraced remote work to combat operational challenges brought on by the traditional office-bound work culture.

For IT administrators, however, this shift brings surplus challenges for the security and overall health of your organization’s IT systems. This article defines the constituents of effective IT support delivery amidst a growing remote work era.

1. Assess Your Organization’s Remote Work Needs

Businesses face fluctuating IT support needs based on their size and scale of operations. Thorough assessment of your organization’s status quo reveals potential challenges in security, operational bottlenecks, or support staff shortages – to mention a few.

To help guide your assessment in the right direction, ask these questions:

  • Is your IT team staffed and equipped sufficiently to provide support for remote workers?
  • What security protocols are in place to combat the mounting cybersecurity issues?
  • Are there additional infrastructure requirements (hardware or software)?
  • Is there a clear line of communication between teams and support in case of trouble?

Providing comprehensive remote support may prove time-consuming, not to mention, expensive for small businesses intending to recruit additional support staff. Managed IT providers deliver pocket-friendly support, expertise, and tools at a fraction of the cost with our IT support in Tampa.

2. Develop Countermeasures Against Network Insecurity

Each new access point initiated by a remote user means another opportunity for malicious actors to gain entry into the system. Outside the protected on-prem IT environment, the threat of unauthorized access foreshadows long, expensive data breaches and a heavy financial implication for victimized businesses.

Thankfully, network security can start at the personal level. Remote users can stay informed on critical password policies and phishing through regular security awareness training. Where highly sensitive data must be accessed remotely, multi-factor authentication can be deployed.

While these measures can prove effective short term, outsourcing network security to a hands-on managed IT provider offers long-term benefits. Security-oriented managed IT providers like Data-Tech equip your company’s network with a host of cybersecurity solutions from antivirus, intrusion prevention and detection, and email spam filtering programs.

3. Establish Remote Device Management Policies

Companies with remote workers should have an impartial bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. The purpose of such a policy is to lay down the ground rules regarding the use of personal devices for accessing the organization’s network remotely.

One way organizations combat remote device security challenges is through company-issued devices. Using personal devices for remote work may compromise your company’s network and data. Work-issued devices often come packed with antivirus programs, intrusion prevention, anti-ransomware, and data protection and recovery solutions.

On the contrary, only 52% of employees use a work-issued device when outside their company’s protected network. When remote devices break down, expert intervention may be required to get them back online. Hiring a locally managed IT support company guarantees swift access to repair and maintenance both remotely and on-site.

4. Streamline Your Round-the-Clock Virtual Support

Streamline Your Round-the-Clock Virtual Support

With remote employees, it’s highly likely that your support team could receive late-night or urgent support requests at any time of the day.

Partnering with a managed IT support provider keeps your remote team within minutes of 24/7/365 IT support staff that provide swift assistance whenever an IT issue arises. Sophisticated issues are quickly delegated to experts sooner rather than later, saving time and minimizing risk.

After all, remote users aren’t isolated. Emails and support calls still remain popular communication channels with IT support. However, instant messaging apps and videoconferencing provide more interactive and more productive engagement with support.

5. Incorporate Training for Remote Employees

Employees are considered the weakest security link in a remote work ecosystem. One solid reason why phishing attacks still run rampant with a high success rate lies in human ignorance. Without proper training, employees at both lower and higher ranks in the organization can easily fall for cleverly disguised phishing scams.

Managed IT service providers study your organization’s network infrastructure and develop training courses tailored to your company’s specific needs. Continuous employee training strengthens your network security. Employees are trained to identify and report phishing emails. These collective measures essentially turn employees into your “human firewall” and your first line of defense.

Proper training also extends to the use of new systems and applications. IT managers ought to introduce employees to new product features and incoming security patches.

On the other hand, new employees should receive training on sanitary remote data handling practices. At this stage, it’s important that you have an online training course available that both new and experienced remote employees can refer to.

Bonus Tip: Deploy Regular Software Updates

Regular software updates are a critical part of your system’s repair and maintenance. These updates are responsible for the elimination of security vulnerabilities and the improvement of your system’s functionality. 

It is important to schedule updates during off-peak hours to minimize downtime. Scheduled updates should also be communicated to remote employees in advance. Last but not least, test your software updates for bugs and set aside a backroll plan in case the new system updates cause trouble. That way, you can temporarily switch back to the old system and keep operations running.


The remote work culture, although associated with numerous benefits in productivity and efficiency, faces equally numerous challenges from an IT perspective. Transitioning to the remote work era with the help of a managed IT service provider can help counter the communication, technical, and operational challenges facing the shift.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can we maintain team collaboration and communication effectively? 

Team collaboration and effective communication are upheld with the establishment of clear lines of communication. Interactive communication channels such as video conferencing and instant messaging enable seamless, fast, and efficient communication with remote workers.

What tools can improve productivity for remote workers? 

Team and project management tools such as Trello and Clickup can help improve productivity for remote workers. Slack and Zoom can help boost productivity even further by creating an environment where remote employees can receive support sooner.

How do we handle data backup for remote employees? 

You should embrace cloud-based data backup solutions for remote employees. Because their physical access to on-premises network infrastructure is restricted or downright impossible, hosting data on secure, robust cloud backups ensures its availability when needed the most. Incorporate regular testing as part of your routine maintenance. The last thing anyone wants is a backup that doesn’t work when needed.

How do we manage work-life balance for remote teams? 

Striking a balance between work and life in a remote work setup can sometimes be difficult to achieve without concessions on employee productivity and efficiency. In response, remote work managers set aside fixed working hours with breaks – just like in the traditional work environment.