Common IT issues for remote employees

By: Darlene Clabault

Publication: Employee Relations Management Today

Date Posted: 07/01/2020

You may have employees who are still working from home, and some employees who wish to permanently work remotely. Remote employees are not immune to technology issues. As such, the following Q & A might come in handy for your remote employees.

What are some common technology mistakes made by remote workers?

  • Adjusting to new conferencing technology for remote meetings and versus face-to-face meetings.
  • For those using a virtual private network (VPN), not checking the VPN connection before trying to work; some programs run fine without VPN, but other things do not.
  • Not understanding how their home printer works and how to deal with related issues.
  • Using a webcam properly; not noticing that their webcam privacy cover closed and is blocking the webcam.
  • Knowing what their primary audio devices are and trying to output audio to a monitor with no speakers or using a microphone that isn’t there.

What technology problems should remote employees be able to solve themselves?

  • Understand the difference between logoff, reboot, and shutdown in relation to both computer and monitor.
  • Understand home wireless, internet service provider (ISP), and the impact other uses (streaming, video games, working, etc.) have on bandwidth and performance.
  • Know that if they have bad wireless, they should try ethernet cable.

What technology problems should remote employees absolutely NOT try to solve themselves?

  • Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), registry, and personal computer settings. If they change these, they can really break the hardware for good.
What should remote employees do before contacting IT?
  • Understand how to get screenshots to share.
  • Capture error messages.
  • Try restarting the computer first.
What are some of the most important security issues remote employees should be aware of?
  • Ensure the Wi-Fi connection is secure. They should not use a public Wi-Fi connection, such as the one at the local coffee shop.
  • Be aware of suspicious links that ask them to give out information without confirmation. Now more than ever, they should watch for phishing, smishing, and other cyberattacks.

All these issues might be addressed through training, tips, checklists, and reminders perhaps posted on the company intranet for all to see.

Key to remember: Employees working from home can take simple steps to fix many IT-related issues without contacting the IT department.

About the author
Darlene Clabault - HR Senior Editor

Darlene is a Senior Editor on the Human Resources Publishing Team and specializes in employment law topics such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Forms I-9 and E-Verify.

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