How to have a Happy Holiday Season as an IT Professional

The holidays bring unique challenges to IT professionals. It's important to set boundaries and teach your clients how to work remotely so that you can have a happy holiday season.

A study from Ipswitch polled professionals with careers in information technology and found that nearly half of the participants were on call or working during the holidays. Follow this advice to make sure you and your clients have a happy holiday season:

Working remotely
With the holidays comes travel and that means people will be working remotely. For people who usually work from an office it can be confusing trying to connect to the internet, log on to servers and fulfill other tech needs. To cut down on the number of calls and emails during this time, teach your clients some tips to work from home. If you are on site, offer a quick meeting with some easy advice on how to get set up to work remotely and how to troubleshoot internet connection  issues and any system-specific issues that they might come across. If you are not able to have a meeting send out an email with some useful advice. Be sure that any tech gear (laptops, tablets, headsets etc) is fully updated and ready to be taken offsite. Your clients will appreciate your help and advice and you will receive less panicked calls about software updates and server connections in the middle of your holiday vacation.

Prepare your network
When everyone comes back from celebrating the various winter holidays they will likely bring some new technology to the office. From smart watches and phones to tablets and other devices, these new toys can take up bandwidth and slow your internet. Be sure that your office is ready to handle a possible tech influx by updating office gadgets to the latest software for the best performance on each device. This way they will use the least possible bandwidth and have increased efficiency.

Stick to a schedule
Unless you are on-call, stay away from your work phone. You equipped your clients with the knowledge they need to help themselves out of easy-to-fix dilemmas and they shouldn't be working during vacation anyway! If you are working keep to a strict schedule and do not respond to work emails or phone calls unless they fall within that time. The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, not working outside of office hours. Be sure you are easily available during the time you are supposed to be working and once you are no longer on the clock step away from your phone and computer. You need a vacation just as much as your clients and customers.

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