Home Office Doesn’t Work Without IT Support

Home Office Doesn’t Work Without IT Support

Home office has advantages and disadvantages.
Without external IT support, we would be stuck.
Expectations of the IT department are also changing.

the big support written on a blackboard

It is an annoying feeling when I have IT problems and am under time pressure; for example, when I’m sending out a press release and my browser freezes. Often I start up – and shut down – my PC in a panic. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. An equally insecure feeling creeps over me when I suddenly can’t open anymore emails because an encryption no longer works. I must have missed an update.

Fortunately, I’m still far from despair because I know that I can always contact our IT support team. They will then help me as quickly as possible with guidance and action. Using the OTRS software, I can simply open a ticket by email, and I always see its status. The ticket is only closed by IT when the problem is actually solved. And after each process, I can give a rating, which can motivate the IT team or make them think twice.

When I was still working in the office, I could quickly jump over to the IT people’s office. Now that most of the work is done at home and almost everything is done “remotely,” I have to rely on remote IT support. And that’s exactly how the majority of all home office employees feel. OTRS Group found this out in a global survey of 500 employees in Germany, the USA, Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia. There seem to be few differences between cultures in this regard.

The majority of office workers (90 percent) increasingly need the support of the IT department since they have been working from the home office for a longer period of time.

90 percent need more IT support in the home office

We had long suspected that the role of the IT department would become more important due to the permanent transfer of employees to the home office. The survey has confirmed our suspicions: The majority of office workers (90 percent) increasingly need the support of the IT department since they have been working from the home office for a longer period of time.

The reason given by 43 percent is that they cannot just turn to a colleague to solve a problem; they have to contact the IT team directly. The second most frequently cited reason (40 percent) is that it is more difficult to access many systems from home.

Phone calls are particularly popular now

The results have probably confirmed the suspicions of many, but what is really surprising is the way home office workers approach IT support. In our digital age, I would have guessed that most would write an email or open a ticket via a digital ITSM system like OTRS. But in fact, almost half (43 per cent) prefer to pick up the phone and call the IT department. That sounds a bit “old school,” but it makes clear how urgently we need personal contact by phone at the moment when meetings are only possible to a very limited extent. Furthermore, this result shows us how important it is to also document calls and telephone conversations in order to be able to record a problem, the status and the solution.

No matter where the work takes place – users expect quick feedback from the IT team

It is a misconception that things are a little quieter in the home office. Whether in the office, on the road or at home, when a problem arises, users expect a quick response from their IT support team.

When asked how quickly IT support should ideally respond, 47 percent answered within 30 minutes. Twenty-two percent are satisfied if the helpdesk responds within 60 minutes. The reality is close to expectations: 72 percent state that their IT support responds to a problem within 30 – 60 minutes. This is another point where an ITSM tool comes in handy, as the IT team’s response times can be accurately recorded and thus improved if necessary. The user can also see that his request has arrived and is being processed.

Only one third know their company’s IT support staff well

Even though the Corona crisis benefits employees by saving time, it also brings many disadvantages to the working world: one of them is that personal encounters fall by the wayside. Over a third of respondents (33 percent) said they did not know IT support staff personally at all. 47 percent know them by sight, but not really well. This is certainly an unpleasant side effect of working permanently in a home office, because the more familiar you are with each other, the more efficiently and better you usually work together.

Another 21 percent demand that they keep all teams and company processes productive.

Another finding: the role of the IT department is changing

The assumption that the IT department does much more than just provide technical support for employees was also confirmed in the survey. In fact, their requirements and tasks are changing: 21 percent also expect the IT department to manage the entire IT infrastructure. Another 21 percent demand that they keep all teams and company processes productive. Sixteen percent say they should ensure innovation and data analysis.


Due to the changing work situation, the pressure on the IT department is growing. Not only is quick assistance required when a user has a problem, but also the holistic management of processes and constant innovation are expected. At the same time, contact between the IT department and employees is changing; both sides know each other less and less personally, yet the need for personal contact is growing.

In order to withstand chang working conditions in the long term and remain efficient, innovative ITSM systems are needed that can document, automate and prioritize requests.

Photos: Anna Tarazevich via Pexels

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