What users hate about IT at work (and how to fix it)

Most office workers spend over 5 hours a day at their computer, and even more working through mobile devices.  When your work day revolves so much around your computer experience, it’s obvious that it’s key factor in workplace satisfaction and in daily productivity.   So we’ve looked around the internet to get an understanding of what the key frustrations are, and married it to feedback we get from our clients.   So this is far from scientific, but we reckon it’s worth a moment of reflection

Basic or Old Equipment


When your home computer is streaks ahead of your work one, it’s not going to go down well!  Old slow machines, with older versions of Windows or Office or any other tools aren’t going to encourage staff.   Nice keyboards, dual screens, lightweight laptops and tablets all contribute to the experience, and while they won’t encourage a user back to their desk after a coffee break – the opposite is true – poor gear will discourage a user from getting back to work and getting on with their tasks after a break.   If the gear is too slow or unreliable, it can become an accepted excuse for poor performance.

Mobiles and Smart Phones


This one is tricky – if a business supplies their staff with a phone, then it’s pretty unlikely it’ll suit everyone – some staff want an iPhone, some want a Android – and they almost always want a model that’s different to the one the business supplies.   Maybe you strike a deal and the staff member uses their own phone.  That means that when they change phones, or leave the business,  access has to be changed, and maybe specialised apps have to be removed.   That’s where something like KARE for Mobile helps.

(not) Working WiFi


If your staff do bring their own devices to work, they’ll want to connect to your WiFi.  It’s hugely frustrating for them when they can’t.  Contributing factors include

  • difficult passwords or access codes
  • not enough WiFi coverage
  • slow or over-subscribed (saturated) wireless points

Some of these can be managed with tools like KARE for Mobile that push out the WiFi configuration.  Others simply need review from time to time.  More staff with more devices does increase the load on your WiFi and if your WiFi is much the same as it was a couple of years ago, then in probably won’t be sufficient

un-Helpful help


IT guys, like most people, just want to get the job done.  They see the technical problem, but they don’t always see the human one and show empathy.  We’re forever drumming in the message to our team that they have to help the person as much as fix the problem, but it’s a hard one and we’re forever pushing the message.   It gets worse on really busy days when there’s mounting pressure, tempers are short and deadlines looming.

Users need help on their timetable – IT is an enabler of other work roles, and as such IT has to support those roles and their timelines.  Easy to say, and really hard to do!

Out of Paper


It always seems like it’s my turn to empty the dishwasher.  I know its not true, but it seems disproportionally often that I go to put my cup in the dishwasher only to find it’s just finished a cycle,  and now needs to be emptied.   Same with the coffee machine – it seems that the milk needs topping up or the grinds need emptying whenever I go to use it!  The printer is much the same, and although they aren’t used as much these days, the ink and paper still need to be refilled.  It’s not beneath anyone – it just has to be done.   There are all sorts of jobs like this in the office, from lightbulbs that need replacing to leaky taps in the kitchen or bathroom.   I reckon helpdesk software doesn’t just have to log IT jobs but it can also log and assign other jobs as well.  If you need a helpdesk, they are easily setup, using tools like SharePoint.