5 key steps for supporting remote users

Work is no longer done primarily in the office – employees must be productive on the go, at home, or while they travel. But they need IT’s help to stay connected.

In addition to a productivity boost, greater mobility improves employees’ morale and the company’s ability to recruit people.

As more users require mobile support, here are some steps IT must take:

  1. Build a robust network — Most mobile workers will be connecting through the web, which means their companies must have robust and reliable broadband service — as will the users’ homes. They’ll also need strong routers, and a VPN connection.
  2. Consider virtualization — Desktop virtualization can allow users to have access to the same virtual desktop at home as when they’re in the office.
  3. Test security — Users’ home networks likely aren’t as secure as a corporate network, so be sure to run tests to make sure hackers won’t be able to access the company through the mobile worker’s connection.
  4. Develop self-help tools — Troubleshooting will be difficult when a user’s in a  different location, so give mobile workers access to FAQs, self-help guides and other information to help people handle common issues on their own.
  5. Train support staff — Supporting remote users requires a unique skill set. Consider having some help desk staffers who specialize in remote support.