Improve Working from Home for your Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way people work and with it the jobs of IT personnel increased in difficulty. The sudden shift didn’t give companies time to create new policies, processes, or even purchase the necessary software and equipment. That seemed to be okay because most of us thought working remotely would be temporary and, just like everyone, we would figure it out as we go. However, none of us anticipated the long-term effects on the workforce.

Large companies such as Twitter, Shopify, and Upwork have established the option for working remotely permanently. CEO of Shopify, Tobi Lutke, even went as far as Tweeting, “Office centricity is over.” Working from home, or homeworking is going to be the new norm. As a result, IT departments will need to adjust accordingly. In this blog, we want to address the top 5 IT Asset Management projects to focus on to improve the homeworking experience for your employees.

1. Personal versus Owned Devices Project

At this point, your organization is dealing with temporary remote workers. The decision to supply laptops have already been made.  Whether the company supplied laptops or not, how will the organization move forward? Here are a few questions to ask for potential long-term homeworking.

Devices owned by the company:

  1. Which remote worker is using what device?
  2. Do you have access to their laptop in case something goes wrong?
  3. Do you need to update processes/policies for long-term remote work?
  4. What additional equipment do the employees need? (Additional screen, mouse or software?)
  5. How is everything currently working? What can be adjusted?
  6. Is the company Knowledge Base articles updated for remote workers?

Devices owned my employees:

  1. How are employees accessing software? Did we bend some SAM policies to get it up and running quickly? What do we need to do to get everything in order?
  2. What do remote employees need from us moving forward?
  3. Is the Knowledge Base up to date?

Whether you lend devices, or the employees use their own devices, there are two projects to focus on:

1) Knowing who has what device so you know what to retrieve in case an employee leaves the company

2) Providing resources so employees can help themselves during the workday. This can include a Knowledge Base, request portal, and making sure policies are in place concerning homeworking.

2. Managing Asset Requests Project

If employees working from home are requesting equipment or supplies, how is your company streamlining the request fulfillment process? Imagine an employee requesting an ergonomic chair. They send the email to their manager, who has to check with the company if there is a budget for it. The manager gets back to the employee who then submits a request to the purchasing department to order the chair.

It also prevents managing requests via email, standardizes the list of assets and automatically starts the approval process. We highly recommend looking into a request portal, especially if your company decides to continue homeworking.

3. Preventing Shadow IT Project

Are you freaking out at the idea that dozens or hundreds of employees may have downloaded unauthorized software on company property, like Zoom? Breathe. IT not knowing about assets within their company is called shadow IT, because IT is kept in the dark. This happens in many organizations under regular circumstances, but the sudden shift to homeworking has amplified this issue.

At this point, we had to make changes quickly because of the pandemic. However, as we get used to homeworking, IT now must figure out what is happening to company property. What are people downloading on company property? What do people have access to? How do we manage accessibility?

Here are more reasons to make Shadow IT an important project during the pandemic:

  • IT is ultimately responsible for the IT assets within the company (physical and digital)
  • IT costs will include assets unknown to the actual department (this is bad)
  • This makes it difficult to track expenses and create forecasts
  • Shadow IT increases the possibility of duplicating software licenses and ultimately wasting money
  • It removes IT’s control over assets
  • C Level executives will have a hard time understanding why IT budget is out of your control

4. Repair Management Project

It’s inevitable that devices will need repairs. Without the physicality of an IT department, a broken laptop has one of the highest impacts on productivity. The repair management project needs to address the following concerns:

  • How does a remote employee flags a repair when their computer is broken down?
  • What to do when they do not have access to a computer?
  • How do you get replacement equipment to the remote workers?
  • What software to use when accessing a remote laptop?
  • How do you maintain productivity when a remote worker is having technical issues?
  • How do you address a network connectivity problem?
  • Are you going to go back to the offices to check on things?
  • How do you address a server issue while you might be working from home?

The list goes on, but it gets the point across. There are issues that will arise, and you need to be prepared for them. Being proactive is key for a positive homeworking experience.

5. New Remote Policy and IT Delivery Project

Amid all these projects, policies, and processes for managing homeworking need to be confirmed and reinforced. It is most likely that IT I will help create the policies and then deliver the policies to the employees. What is the optimal way to inform employees about the policies? The adoption of the policies and processes will be heavily based on delivery. Therefore, it is crucial to have a solid plan.

Here are the questions to answer:

  • How different are the policies from the old ones? How do we make the new ones easy to understand?
  • What method of delivery to choose? (video, documents, FAQs, emails, Question and answer periods, one on one)
  • How often to remind employees of the policies? (weekly email, monthly question period)
  • What happens when a policy is not followed?

There you have it! The top 5 ITAM projects to improve homeworking for your employees. For additional resources, check out the following:

How to Optimize Internal Approval Processes

The Benefits of a Self-Service Portal

6 Reasons you want a Software Request Portal

If you don’t already have one, an IT Asset Management solution


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