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What to Do When You’re Short-Staffed and Your Employees Need a Vacation

Gartner has established the ideal end-user-to-IT-employee golden ratio as 70:1; however, the current corporate average is actually closer to 200:1. Meaning that, if you wanted to go by Gartner’s recommendation and fully cover your company’s day-to-day help desk demands, you would need to hire an average of 1.5 additional IT employees per end-user.

However, this course of action is often implausible. With such explosive technological advancement in recent years, companies have abandoned traditional models of keeping many highly-specialized engineers on staff (each with his or her own niche discipline). Instead, companies are cutting costs and streamlining their processes through hiring with IT generalization in mind. As a result—with teams pared down to bare minimums—IT employees are forced to “wear many hats.” This works for ongoing maintenance of an environment, but what happens when your team leaves to take a much-needed vacation.

Lean Team Vacation Woes

In some cases, you may only have one engineer to cover several lines of data center equipment, or one or two technicians to support your remote office’s—or entire company’s—help desk ticket backlog.

What happens when one or more of them has a long-term vacation planned, or is preparing to take an extended leave of absence?

Your IT team is already spread thin; you barely have the resources to cover day-to-day operations, much less to facilitate long-term employee absences. And rarely do you have another applicable (available) IT staff member to directly step in—because this person has his or her own work to do. Remember that your IT team is intrinsically generalized, so when one member leaves, he or she vacates multiple jobs simultaneously—your help desk might not have the means to collectively cover the void for such sustained lengths of time. So, what are your options?

We don’t have to explain to you the fallacies of hiring additional full-time employees simply for sporadic PTO backfill. While it might be nice, you also don’t want to have employees twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.

In an ideal world, you would want to cover these workload voids on-demand—just like you do with your VMs. As demand increases, you would “spin up” iterations of IT staff and then dismiss them as soon as demand decreases. It would be economic, scalable, and effective.

Unfortunately. it’s not an ideal world, and these are people we’re talking about. But our experts at CentricsIT have come up with a solution that gets pretty close.

The Solution? PTO Backfill

On-Demand Flexibility

We facilitate this on-demand PTO backfill through our CentricsIT SmartHands program.

Our extensive network of strategic partners grants us access to a worldwide pool of licensed IT engineers and technicians. Consequently, our global positioning enables us to deploy L1 and L2 support-level engineers to our clients, no matter where they operate or how many locations they manage.

SmartHands for PTO support is especially useful for European office locations, as employees outside of the United States generally take substantially more PTO than the average U.S. worker.

For short-term employee absences, we can level-match your support needs and have an entire team (or a specific individual) at your doorstep in a matter of hours, ready and fully-capable of becoming an extension of your existing IT staff.

Whether you need help for just an hour, half a day, or several weeks at a time, you will only be charged for what you need, when you need it, where you need it.

Permanent Performance

In the case of long-term vacations and leaves of absence, CentricsIT SmartHands will help your team plan and prepare. When one of your technicians plans a two-week-long cruise to the Bahamas, or when your data center engineer is preparing to take her maternity leave, CentricsIT will assign one of our SmartHands technicians to come and train closely alongside of your employee(s) for days and even a week in advance. Because we recognize that IT positions are not siloed, our SmartHands engineers will specifically learn to integrate with all facets of the position, granting you a comprehensive solution, rather than a narrowly-focused one.

Our end goal: to thoroughly learn your company’s processes to achieve a seamless transition both into and out of your workforce.

CentricsIT SmartHands Fills in the Gaps

IT helpdesk strain is already chronic, and vacation is inevitable (and valuable!).

While time off benefits your vacationing IT staff, the workload that is left behind can cause even greater stress for the team. For the efficacy of your company, and out of consideration for your already-lean teams, utilize the global network of scalable IT engineering workforces that CentricsIT SmartHands provides.

Not sure how to cover your IT employee’s next extended PTO backfill? Contact one of our SmartHands specialists to “spin up” the necessary IT engineering expertise seamlessly.