Last updated on: April 27, 2020

By now, many of us have realized how dispiriting it can be to work from home for days on end. We badly want to get back to our cubicles. We miss the morning chats over coffee. We may even miss the rush hour.

Working from home is new territory that is not as easy or relaxing as those who are new to it may have always imagined. You have to deal with managing tools, time, and people amidst the chaos of your home environment; over time, this can become nerve-racking.

I’ve cataloged some trouble spots ITSM engineers may face while working from home, and have included a few tips to overcome these struggles. After reading this, you’ll know how to run a successful service desk remotely, even from your kitchen!

The missing displays

Remote work best practices

You’ve gone from a grand multi-screen setup to a modest laptop. You have to watch the alarms from monitoring tools, report bugs in the bug tracker, and keep an eye on your mailbox—all while working on your tickets. This is where the single screen becomes an annoyance. But what if there was a way to plug all the tools you need into one solution?

Custom widgets allow you to access third-party applications and webpages within ServiceDesk Plus. With this increased visibility, you won’t miss a thing while you’re working on your service desk tasks.

The custom menu lets you create actionable menu items that will appear in a drop-down menu within ServiceDesk Plus. Using this feature, you can perform contextual operations in third-party applications without leaving the page where you are working.

Custom widgets

Wishing for an extra pair of hands

IT support chatbot

While you are busy cooking lunch for your kids, a high-priority incident gets logged. It’s a deadlock! You can't stop cooking, and you can't attend to the ticket. This is when you wish you had an extra pair of hands.

Zia, a conversational AI assistant in ServiceDesk Plus, enables you to perform a variety of service desk tasks through voice commands. Zia is present in the ServiceDesk Plus mobile app, and you can ask her to assign technicians to requests, add comments, dispatch tasks, get productivity stats, and a lot more.

Virtual service desk agent chatbot

Dawn to dusk and no work is done

Work from home best practices

Prudence is an essential quality for successful remote work. You need to plan your day, organize and prioritize your tasks, and track the time you spend. Just like “drink water” reminders and fitness tracking apps can help you stay healthy, you need something similar to manage your work items. Otherwise you may have trouble staying motivated.

Reminders act as a substitute for your sticky notes, notifying you about your timeline for work on a given day. You can even sync ServiceDesk Plus reminders with your Office 365 calendar so nothing gets missed.

Office 365 calendar integration

Worklogs help you track the time you spend on different work orders throughout the day. You can compile your worklogs and evaluate your performance to stay motivated.

Time tracking for remote teams

A post office situation

Working from home tips

Globally, the email mode of logging tickets is on the rise due to work-from-home (WFH) practices. This means you are now running a digital post office! Sorting and routing the emails to the right queue is a laborious task, if it's done the conventional way. You need the right tools to make this job a breeze.

The kanban view is a card-based view of your tickets, which can be listed by ticket status, priority, and technician. The fluid interface of ServiceDesk Plus allows you to drag and drop the cards to instantly change a ticket’s status, priority, and technician.

Kanban for IT support teams

Business rules and technician auto-assign are mechanisms that will help you automate your digital post office. Business rules are criteria-based rule engines that will automatically sort tickets based on the criteria you set up, such as the contents of the subject and description. Technician auto-assign is an automatic resource manager that distributes tickets evenly across your workforce.

Automatic ticket assignments

Everyone is flying under the radar

ITSM best practices for remote work

When the team is working remotely, it’s common for the service desk manager to lose visibility of the available workforce. That leads to ineffective planning and breached timelines. Service desk managers need tools to track the availability of resources and effectively manage and utilize them, that way no one flies under the radar.

The tech availability chart displays the availability of technicians each month, along with their open ticket count. It also allows technicians to apply for leave and mark their unavailability. Logged-in tech shows the list of technicians who are online in ServiceDesk Plus.

Remote help desk software
Tips and tricks for ITSM engineers

Delegation ensures continuity of operations, even when most of your technicians and request approvers are on leave. Using delegation, you can configure backups for both technicians and approvers. The requests that are waiting on the staff that are unavailable will be re-routed to their backups, ensuring your production chain never breaks.

ServiceDesk Plus tips for remote work
Best practices for working remotely

Staying connected in isolation

How to run a successful service desk remotely

In a WFH situation, many employees miss the feel of the office. We miss the brainstorming sessions, the collaboration. Sometimes we even miss out on what’s happening. It’s good to create a virtual office space for hanging out with your team.

The Microsoft Teams integration is offered out-of-the-box in ServiceDesk Plus. With this integration, you can form a tag team to take on critical issues, post regular updates, and search ServiceDesk Plus solution articles directly in Microsoft Teams. Moreover, you can plug the ServiceDesk Plus chatbot into Microsoft Teams and use it to perform many service desk operations without leaving your conversations.

Microsoft Teams Integrations

The new norm

Remote control IT support

Many organizations resisted the idea of remote work in the past. The COVID-19 pandemic gave them no choice but to fast-track the formulation of their WFH strategy in the course of a few weeks. Working from home is the new norm everywhere; moreover, this trend might continue for some time.

To be successful in this journey, you have to accept minimalism, practice self-discipline, and embrace new technologies. With these skills and the right tools, you can be a game-changer even while working from home.

Prem Maheswaran
ITSM Evangelist

About ServiceDesk Plus

ServiceDesk Plus

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is ITIL-ready help desk software with integrated asset and project management capabilities. With advanced ITSM functionality and easy-to-use capabilities, ServiceDesk Plus helps IT support teams deliver world-class service to end users with reduced costs and complexity. It comes in three editions and is available in 37 different languages. More than 100,000 organizations across 185 countries trust ServiceDesk Plus to optimize IT service desk performance and achieve high end-user satisfaction.