Since states began instituting stay-at-home orders and businesses transitioned to a remote workforce, IT professionals have seen their workloads skyrocket. Cloud-migration projects are high on the priority list, but helping employees successfully-transition to a remote-work environment is a constant job that IT professionals must manage.
For SysAdmin Appreciation Day this year, we sought to understand how remote workers think their IT teams have performed during this COVID-era. We asked if employees felt they understood IT’s role and priorities at the business, when IT last communicated with them about their priorities, whether they were satisfied with their IT teams’ performance, and more.
We surveyed 500 people in the US using PollFish and screened for respondents that confirmed they had someone that handled IT at their company. 13% of respondents stated their IT team was external. Respondents represented all sizes of businesses ranging from 0-50 employees to more than 5,000 employees.
We are very happy to report that the findings were positive! Respondents overwhelmingly approved of IT performance with 88% stating they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with IT at their company. Considering that over the last few months many IT professionals have faced some of the most difficult challenges in their careers, employees’ high satisfaction with their performance is a major point of validation for IT’s efforts.
Remote Worker Trends
The coronavirus has caused some of the most extreme work-life changes in generations, most notably with the rapid adoption of remote work. This
trend is reflected in the results of our survey, which found that 59% of respondents were now working remotely as a res
ult of COVID-19compared with 21% that are still working in an office. Nearly 13% of respondents indicated they worked remotely prior to COVID-19, which is similar to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that 14% of employees had a flexible work arrangement that allowed for remote work.
Comparing the number of employees working remotely before the pandemic to now shows just how dramatic the shift to remote work has been. Since the pandemic began, there has been an almost 5x increase in the number of remote employees that IT must manage.
Understanding Employee Interactions with IT
A key part of understanding employee satisfaction with their IT departments comes from understanding how - and how often - employees interact with IT. As other researchers have noted, breaking down business silos is extremely important for employees to be their most productive and for businesses to be the most effective.
In our research, we found that employees had a good understanding of IT’s role at their company. 86% of respondents stated they were extremely or fairly confident in understanding IT’s role at the company. This high level of understanding could be because many IT teams have done an excellent job of keeping employees updated on their priorities and projects. 39% of respondents indicated that IT had spoken with them in the last month about their priorities and projects while 28% of respondents said IT had spoken with them in the last 3 months.
Of those that were confident they understood IT’s role in their company, 39% had been updated on IT’s priorities and projects in the last month and 28% had been updated in the last 3 months.
Still, there is room for improvement among IT teams to break down silos and communicate with employees. 15% of respondents indicated that their IT team had never spoken with them about their priorities or projects. Looking more closely at the data, respondents with little to no understanding of IT’s role in the company were more likely to have never been updated on IT’s priorities and projects.
Looking to understand the frequency in which employees engaged with IT, we asked how often they submit help requests. 61% of respondents indicated they submit at least one help request a month. The frequency in interaction and regular updates on what IT is working on that we’ve observed may be a key driver in the high levels of engagement, understanding and satisfaction employees report.
What Employees Think IT Should Focus On
Of course, while it’s important for IT teams to communicate what their priorities are, it’s also important to recognize what regular employees see as projects that would improve their quality of life at work.
By far, the number one issue employees think IT should focus on is helping to improve their home Wi-Fi networks. This is followed by helping employees set up digital tools like Zoom, Slack or DropBox and educating employees on their company’s security policies. These top requests make perfect sense for our new COVID-era and can help IT leaders focus their efforts to actively improve the remote work experience for employees.
Happy SysAdmin Appreciation Day
Breaking down silos between different parts of the business is difficult, especially for IT, where the perception has been that employees may not care or understand what exactly IT does at their company.
As companies transitioned to a remote workforce, some for the first time ever, IT professionals have rightly been tapped as the ones responsible for ensuring business continuity. Our findings suggest that IT teams have excelled at keeping employees updated on what they’re focused on and that frequent communication is key for keeping employees satisfied with the performance of IT.
Even though times are difficult, IT leaders should be proud of the positive work they’re doing - and see that the rest of the organization values them.
In our new era of remote, NinjaRMM’s remote endpoint monitoring solution has been a lifesaver for IT professionals and MSPs alike. With a platform consistently rated by users as one of the easiest to learn, use and see ROI from, IT pros using NinjaRMM are equipped with powerful tools that let them spend more time delivering value to their company’s employees.
From all of us at NinjaRMM, happy SysAdmin Appreciation Day!