The holidays are around the corner, and there’s nothing more infuriating than a flurry of emails, calls, or texts from employees and clients needing tech support when you’re trying to enjoy friends and family on your down time. We came up with a few tips that should help ease the process and make sure that you can protect your holidays while making your IT network management simple. Everyone wins!
Confirm your company and/or clients’ holiday policy.
Check the calendar and talk to HR or your client contacts. What’s the official holiday policy? Is your office closed between Christmas and New Year’s, for example? Are there specific days that cushion major holidays – like Thanksgiving and Christmas – where people might be in the office and expect your help? It helps to know exactly how the schedule will play out so you can create systems to manage requests around the busy holiday season.
Set up an on-call schedule – who is handling what when?
If you have a team of people, sync up and figure out who is taking vacation at which times, and make sure you have designated IT coverage for most of the holiday season.
Pre-empt the deluge by reminding your clients of the holidays.
Send out a short email to your clients reminding them that the holidays are coming up and that if they have any imminent IT needs, they should bring them to you before a certain date when the holidays ramp up in full force (we recommend setting the cutoff time for the week before Christmas). While this doesn’t mean you won’t still be handling IT requests immediately before/after holidays, it will set the tone that you will be unable to respond as quickly to requests during that time.
Set up a template response for emails that includes common IT network management questions and responses.
When you are out of the office, set up your vacation responder to handle some items automatically for you. If your teammate will be covering IT requests, direct employees and clients to that colleague. If no one will be around, link to a page with common IT questions and your responses. Also helpful: give people an expectation for when you’ll get back to them, whether you won’t be able to respond until after you’re back in the office, or you promise to respond in 48 hours. Communication is a beautiful thing.
If you’re handling IT requests solo, come up with a protocol so you don’t have to check email on your holiday.
If you do have to keep track of things while on holiday, do yourself a favor and use Panorama9’s Notifier feature to get automatic text or phone call updates on IT tickets and issues so you don’t have to worry about checking email. Make sure all of your clients know which email to send IT requests to so they automatically get added to Panorama9.
Bonus Points: When you do get IT requests during the holidays, write them down and start creating a holiday IT guide.
Systems are a wonderful way to streamline your operations and make your life easier. This holiday season, start writing down what comes up and how you handled inbound requests around this time. By anticipating what you’ll need to plan for, you can create an airtight system that your future self will thank you for.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Panorama9!