Q. Dear Help Desk Coach:
I speak for all my co-workers in this question. About a year ago our manager negotiated SLAs with the departments we support. They would be somewhat achievable SLAs if we didn’t have to support BYOD devices and also all the problems that other employees create by using either company computers or BYOD for non-business reasons. Our manager wants to be a ‘nice guy’ in the eyes of the company, so the SLAs favor the end users. And wanting to be the nice guy, he tells us we should be helpful to users with their BYOD problems too. When I’ve asked him if that includes BYOD problems that are not company business related, he just smiles at me and asks “are you a help desk agent?” My colleagues and I feel we’re now the personal support squad for everyone in the company, not just supporting IT needs of people who want to get their work done.
Harried and Confused,
Help Desk Agent
A. Dear Harried and Confused:
The line between supporting BYOD and company issued equipment is a blurry one and an issue for most support organizations today. Many stipulate support only for a device being used for business purposes, but as you’ve stated, many times the problem is caused by personal use, and then the user needs your help before resuming business. Another problem I read in your message is your manager’s offering the help desk as a resource for non-business related support, but not including this activity either as an SLA. My recommendations to you and your coworkers:
- Make sure all your support activity is recorded. Open a ticket for personal support too, and if your ticket system doesn’t accommodate that, develop another way of tracking the time you spend on non-business related support. Make sure that all of your coworkers document, so you can accurately represent the time spent on personal vs business support.
- Let your manager know the amount of time spent on personal support. Provide documentation. Let him know this often interferes and compromises with achieving SLAs. Perhaps he is unaware of the extent to which you and your colleagues are functioning as personal support for employees.
- Ask for written guidelines for supporting BYOD issues, emphasizing you want to support all company employees, but feel supporting personal issues on BYODs is compromising SLAs designed to keep people productive.
Best of luck,
Help Desk Coach
© Donna Earl 2015.