When pandemic closings began happening last year, Technology Support Analysts Robert Holloman and Scott Leonard rolled with the punches. Not only did they handle product orders so staff could work remotely, but they also provided technology support when issues arose.
Even a pre-pandemic work day was highly variable for the team. Tasks included technology support (both in-office and remote) as well as providing support for spaces on main campus. After staff started working remotely in March 2020, the primary shifts included an increase in purchasing and monitoring deliveries as well as arranging to have staff pick up items and occasionally receive technology support in the office. In-office support was rarely needed, however, since most staff were relatively self-sufficient with laptop maintenance at home. In order to manage all of the equipment going home with staff for their at-home offices, the team uses multiple methods, which include a spreadsheet, their own inventory, and Asset Panda (asset tracking software that manages the technology check-out process).
The year was not without challenges for the team. Receiving orders, items being misdelivered, and having to adjust orders due to high demand were some of the primary issues that arose. Webcams, for example, were initially ordered from one company, but due to the high demand and lengthy delivery time, the team decided to cancel that order and order from another company. Other necessary items staff continue to use at home include headsets and monitors. The team also had to ensure certain items were delivered within the appropriate fiscal year timeline.
Overall, the team feels the problems caused over the past year were not as bad as they could have been. They adapted smoothly to a different set of obstacles, and the DELTA staff whom they were supporting were highly accommodating. The team notes Slack has been a key tool that helps them maintain smooth communication even with everyone working in different locations.
Leonard shares how DELTA has done a fabulous job of implementing online social events, such as trivia night, which make it feel “like we got to know each other a little better than we normally would have.” He also feels the bi-weekly all-DELTA meetings have enhanced communication and collaboration over the past year.
The team predicts that as staff transition back to the office, some will want to return to the way it was, some will want a hybrid approach, and some will prefer to work remotely as much as possible. Holloman could see things returning to a new normal, but “never fully back to the way it was before.”
Holloman and Leonard note that even during a pandemic, the people they get to work with, along with the relaxed atmosphere, create a workplace they appreciate. They also like how constant professional development opportunities and social events, such as trivia night, make DELTA a place where they enjoy coming to work every day.