It’s estimated that between 25-30% of the U.S. workforce will likely work from home one or more days a week once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. This means tech support and help desk workers, many of whom may also be working remotely, will face challenges providing adequate support.
These days, because tech support teams themselves can’t be physically onsite to support all of the work from home (WFH) teams, they need access to the right tools to limit service disruption. With more companies recognizing the need to better address disaster preparedness, business continuity planning and security concerns, remote tech support has never been more in focus. As a result, the help desk solutions market is expected to hit $11 billion by 2023. Cloud-based remote support tools, such as the ones we’ll look at here, can help tech support teams get to the bottom of issues and provide better service to employees with less disruption.
Remote support vs. onsite support
Remote tech support is virtual support that enables IT teams to help employees and customers troubleshoot issues and deliver support from a distance over the internet, without being onsite. It’s as effective as traditional onsite support, and it provides some essential benefits. For companies, remote support is cost-effective, and there’s less overhead for maintaining office space, associated costs and infrastructure. Employees also benefit by accessing 24/7 support from anywhere in the world, which decreases service disruption while improving productivity.
Remote tools that help improve tech support for WFH employees
Providing effective and timely tech support to employees across an organization requires remote software or tools. These five can come in handy.
Atera is a remote access, monitoring and management tool designed for managed service providers and IT professionals. It helps tech support teams with remote access, file transfer and multi-screen support.
Key features of Atera:
- Secure connection support to enable tech support to remotely access computers, files and applications and debug issues for any location.
- Help desk monitoring and alerts on physical and virtual networks, server and software updates, and more.
- Workstation and server IT task automation.
- Automatic patch management for Windows service pack, Office, driver, Java and other updates.
- Remote maintenance tools to uninstall applications and run scripts and many other advanced commands.
- Reporting and analytics tools to measure and track system health, IT inventory, help desk activities and licensing.
Pricing for the Pro plan is $89/month/technician. The Growth plan is $129/month/technician, and the Power plan is $169/month/technician. Reduced pricing is available on annual plans.
ConnectWise Control Support
The ConnectWise Control Support solution offers IT help desk teams a fast remote desktop support tool with the ability to remotely, securely and seamlessly access, manage and support employee desktops and mobile devices from any location.
Key features of ConnectWise Control Support:
- ConnectWise View allows tech support to live stream with employees using their computer camera to resolve their issues in real-time.
- Control Support security ensures user authentication and allows for remote role-based security and permissions, session activity logging, video session logging and more.
- Simplified management of multiple LDAP user sources and AD directories.
- Automatic and dynamic creation of subgroups that are easier to find.
Pricing for the One plan is $29/month/user and one connection; the Standard plan is $49/month/user and up to three simultaneous connections; and the Premium plan offers $59/month/user and up to 10 simultaneous connections. Reduced pricing is available on annual plans.
GoToAssist provides a technician (agent) console that ensures mobile remote employees have fast, unlimited, hassle-free issue resolution that helps them stay productive and focused on doing what matters.
Key features of GoToAssist:
Technical support members can easily access employee hardware and software configuration information through remote diagnostics.
- As many as 15 sessions/technician can be simultaneously accessed through multi-session technical support.
- Support teams can switch and navigate between multiple customer monitors simultaneously.
- Patches, updates and more can be easily handled using secure file transfers.
- Communication with other technicians and employees is enabled through Slack.
Pricing is $69/month/agent or reduced pricing of $55/month/agent when billed annually. Mobile support is available as an add-on at $20.00/month/agent.
With FixMe.IT, technical support teams can assist WFH employees with issues such as configuration, logging in, file transfers and other complex technical support needs quickly, securely and from any location.
Key features of FixMe.IT:
- Technicians and employees benefit from two-way desktop sharing for support and walk-throughs.
- File and folder transfer can be done quickly and remotely using drag-and-drop.
- Two-factor authentication can be enabled for increased security.
- Mass applications can be deployed using Group Policy.
- Video support sessions can be created for audit or training purposes.
Pricing is available in a monthly plan at $30/seat/month or reduced pricing at $300/seat/year.
RemoteToPC is a scalable remote IT management solution that supports on-premises or WFH teams of any size. It supports employees on the web or through smartphone access using two-factor authentication.
Key features of RemoteToPC:
- A low-impact monitoring technology allows technical support teams to keep an eye on and receive alerts about the health and metrics of all computers on a network.
- Fast 256-BIT AES + Poly 1305 AEAD modern cryptography connection between two peer devices.
- Remote printing and file transfer capabilities.
- Unlimited remote sessions.
Pricing is based on five annual plans: a Basic plan at $99.00/year for up to 10 remote computers, a Business plan for $179/year for up to 20 computers, an Enterprise 1 plan at $299/year for up to 100 computers, Enterprise 2 at $549 for up to 250 computers and Enterprise 3 at $899 for up to 500 computers.
Other considerations when looking for tech tools to support your workforce
It’s important to remember that the price and features aren’t the only things to consider when shopping for a tech support solution for your WFH employees. Other factors to consider include:
- Existing infrastructure and legacy system limitations.
- The size and complexities of your workforce.
- Current processes and policies.
- Vendor reputation, stability and the support they provide for their solution.