Are you an IT supporter? When it comes to the IT infrastructure for which you’re responsible, you are like the police, the fire department, and emergency medical services all rolled into one.
Whenever and wherever there is a problem, you get the call.
You move from one emergency to the next with stress as your ever-present companion, but you do it with an air of serenity and professional poise.
What do we do if there’s a problem while you’re gone?
As the IT supporter, what happens when you go on vacation though?
When people require technical support, they need it right away. If IT systems are not functioning properly, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get any work done.
When summer temperatures rise and tempers flare in the heat of the moment, it often takes the cooler head of a supporter to save the day. To remain cool in stressful situations you, the supporter, occasionally need some time off too.
Now, to alleviate the concerns of your colleagues or customers with regard to your impending absence, you can take a few simple steps.
A supporter’s vacation checklist
1. Send a courtesy email
As a courtesy, send an email to your customers or other departments in advance and provide them with the time that you will be away as well as alternate contact information for someone handling your responsibilities in your absence.
If you’re a self-employed supporter working without co-workers, think about setting up an agreement with another supporter to handle each other’s clients while on vacation.
Alternatively, provide your customers with an emergency contact number to reach you on.
Keep your email short and to the point. If you’re stuck for inspiration, here is an example that you could use as a template:
Dear Mr. Bloggs,
I will be out of the office from June 20th until July 3rd 2015, but I wanted to inform you that my colleague, Jane Doe, will be able to provide assistance while I am away.
Please feel free to contact Jane in my absence at email@example.com. I will respond to emails upon my return.
2. Add an out of office autoresponder
Out of office auto reply: this might seem like an easy one, but don’t forget to turn on auto reply in your email, and be sure to include a polite note with the above-mentioned alternative contact information.
If you’re working in a team, simply refer the emailer to get in touch with your colleagues through the best contact channel.
Thank you for your message,
I’m currently on leave with no access to email. I will return on Monday, August 3rd and respond to your email then.
If you need assistance before Monday, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would rather provide support yourself while on vacation, provide a direct phone number at which customers can always reach you. But be prepared for calls to interrupt your vacation!
Thank you for your message,
I’m currently on leave with limited access to email until Monday, August 3rd .
If you urgently need assistance before Monday, please contact me on +1 xxx-xxx-xxxx.
3. Help your colleagues provide support
Do you provide regular support to certain devices and customers?
Before you go on vacation, share essential information with your colleagues to enable them to easily and quickly provide support in your absence.
If you use TeamViewer, make the most of your Computers & Contacts list, and consider creating and sharing groups so that other supporters or your employees have access to certain customers.
To find out more, take a look at the introductory video:
4. Setup unattended access for key devices
If you absolutely must be available to maintain mission-critical systems, think about setting up unattended access to devices that might require your attention.
Should you happen to be on vacation in a far off place, the difference in time zones might mean that you have to fix an issue outside of your customer’s or company’s normal business hours.
TeamViewer makes setting up unattended access a simple process.
5. Enable remote control from your mobile device
When you’re on the go, it can be a real pain to drag along a bulky laptop with you for those times when you do have to take care of an issue.
You can find the app on:
6. Make it easy for your customers
A great way to reduce stress before a vacation is to ensure that it’s easy for your customers to get in contact when they have a problem.
Help your customers easily find the best channel to get in touch. Think about clearly displaying support contact information on your website, business cards, and emails.
We’ve made it even easier for TeamViewer users, who can create a custom TeamViewer QuickSupport module that automatically generates a support ticket and session code.
This way, customers don’t have to call or email you at all if they have a problem. They can just enter a description of the problem, and the service case automatically appears in your Computers & Contacts list. You can assign the service case to someone else or then handle it yourself.
7. Trust your co-workers
Trust in the people covering for you. The whole team will run more efficiently if you have a system in place to transfer specialized knowledge between colleagues.
This will help to ensure that your customers receive a consistent level of service.
Avoid checking your mobile device too often, and keep the number of people to a minimum who know how and where to reach you directly. Remember that you’re on vacation.
Go take that vacation
The whole point of a vacation is to relax and reduce your level of stress.
With a little bit of planning in advance, you’ll come back from your holiday feeling like new.
To make it even easier to plan your next vacation, why not use the points above to create a checklist that you can keep in a convenient location for any time that you or any other IT supporters are going to be away.
After all, when you’re on the way out of the office two hours before your flight is set to leave, sometimes all you can think of is, “On vacation, back in 2 weeks. Problems? Call Dave.”
Want to use TeamViewer to take a stress free vacation this summer? Click on the button below!