How an MSP Business Should View Constant Availability

MSP businessDue to digital technology that allows for 24/7 connectivity, an MSP business naturally must deal with constant availability. That means developing a diverse and skilled talent pool so that technicians are always available to help clients and aren’t worn out from being overworked.

Here are ways MSPs can maximize the concept of constant availability:

Culture of Constant Availability

Economic uncertainties lead to companies hiring employees based on availability, including after hours and weekends. As a result, many Americans are working longer hours. A recent joint study by Boston University and Harvard Business School found that average working hours have increased 9% since 1979.

Today’s top earners have longer work weeks than average workers, which is largely driven by the fear of being replaced by employers who want to maintain a constant availability of labor. In many cases, workers who make themselves available as much as possible are favored by employers over those who seek vacations. Less reputable companies are willing to hire untrained temps just to create the appearance of a large staff.

Drawbacks of Constant Availability

The culture of constant availability creates gender inequality by penalizing women for wanting to spend more time caring for their children. It’s a system that puts profits ahead of people and needs to be tempered with corporate social responsibility. The emphasis on workers who exhibit the most commitment to the job can cause a company to lose sight of talent level. More seasoned talent, for example, may command higher pay and more vacation time. Penalizing the most educated and skillful workers for wanting to take time off can reduce the quality of a talent pool.

A key problem with the culture of constant availability is that it may reduce morale among employees. The idea of a 24/7 workplace can have a dehumanizing effect in a way that seems the company is more important than the people who run it. In order to overcome this perception, a company can take an interest in what its employees do outside the workplace. The company should also differentiate between personal time and work time by requiring vacation time to be taken within a calendar year. Metrics for measuring success should be established beyond time on the clock.

Nurturing an “Always On” Workforce

The MSP business has the opportunity to elevate the performance of an “always on” company through training and motivation. The ideal MSP technicians should be individuals willing to juggle work with family life but should also be allowed flexibility for family events. The relationship between employer and employees can strengthen if employees are allowed to plan family vacations.

Conclusion

Constant availability is a concept at the core of 24/7 businesses and is evolving to take into account worker perceptions. Your MSP business can benefit from balancing between “always on” and acknowledging worker lifestyles beyond the workplace. Contact a managed services expert to learn more about how you can make your business continuity more enjoyable for your staff.

Yoon Choi

Yoon Choi

An 12 year veteran of the IT Support in LA industry with a broad background consisting of start-up, SMB and Enterprise level engagements, Yoon’s experience spans a gamut of industries including legal, financial, manufacturing, media, medical and professional services in both hands-on engineering and executive roles. Yoon brings a well-seasoned viewpoint and expertise in key operational areas such as service delivery, process improvement and workflow management as well as key technical competencies in the areas of cloud based PaaS/SaaS/IaaS, VDI and virtualization, telecommunications and traditional managed services. Currently Cisco certified, Yoon is a graduate of UCLA. When the partners started Advanced Networks in 2004, the vision was simple: Be the most trusted and respected IT services providers in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California with a reputation for reliability, innovation, and a commitment to customer service. That vision remains just as strong today as it did back then. We’ve made it a point to hire the brightest and most talented team members we could find who share this vision and Yoon Choi matches this description perfectly. Yoon shares the belief of the CEO that it’s that our IT support business in LA starts and ends with the happiness of our customers.