Supervising through COVID19 – and a jump in workload

Remote Work Tales by ImageQuest

ImageQuest IT Manager Angela Burgess faced a double-whammy in March. The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly sent all her employees home – and simultaneously tripled their workload.

A fun time to be a supervisor, right?Angela Burgess, IT Support, ImageQuest

Burgess oversees ImageQuest’s IT Support Teams. Usually, she and her technicians can resolve problems together in person. They collaborate, people come into her office to discuss matters, or she stops by someone’s desk for a quick chat.

Then came March 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. The governor of Tennessee issued a stay-at-home order, while simultaneously declaring IT firms such as ImageQuest essential.

Burgess and her teams went home, just as our Help Desk calls exploded. People needed help transitioning to work-from-home – how to get on their VPN, how to set up a printer, how to use an application remotely.

“I can tell you we had 1,810 tickets opened in March 2019. And for this March, that number went to 5,223,” Burgess said.

While that might seem stressful, Burgess said ImageQuest’s transition went well.

“We built ImageQuest around the ability to work from anywhere,” Burgess said.

Early in the company’s existence, a severe weather event kept everyone home.

“We were forced to not be in the office, and that brought a halt to everything,” Burgess said. “So we built ImageQuest around the ability to work from anywhere, to make sure our team could do their job anywhere.”

A key factor for Burgess’ is Microsoft Teams, which is an essential communication tool, especially when everyone is working remotely.

“We use Teams quite heavily – for one-on-one chats, with multiple people at once, and as a team channel,” Burgess said. “I want to continue to stay in constant communication.”

Additionally, Burgess established Help Desk performance and productivity benchmarks that she tracks through software ImageQuest uses. She said she’s been lucky – only one or two people had moments of distraction early on. Those issues are resolved now, she said.

And Burgess says she works hard to give kudos – after all, the flood of tickets was sudden and required an all-hands effort. Burgess said the Help Desk Team has come through with flying colors. (Our customer reviews also reflect that.)

That said, what about Cabin Fever? Burgess said she thought being able to work from home would be perfect for her.

“I thought this would be my moment to shine. I thought, ‘Woohoo! I get to stay at home for a good reason. I’ll shop online. This is my dream.'”

But the self-described curmudgeon says she’s ready to return to normal.

“I’m going nuts at this point!”

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