As he has adapted to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, getting set up with the technology that he needs to continue in his role as Senior Support Specialist at Accent Computer Solutions has not been a problem for Jason Barnes. Preventing his kids from bursting into the room while he’s working is another story.
Jason is a lead technician on the Alpha Support Team, the front line for handling day-to-day issues and user requests from Accent’s numerous clients. Not only has he had to adapt to working from home a few days each week while California has been under shelter-in-place orders, he has been on a learning curve with the rest of the team as they have been faced with new problem-solving situations that have arisen because of the explosion of remote workers within their client companies.
“It’s been challenging. Before this I had never worked at home, so it’s been a big change getting used to a whole new flow,” said Jason. “A lot of our end users are working from their homes now too and they’re having issues that they’ve never experienced before.”
Helping People Get Unstuck
Being the first in line to communicate with people about their frustrations requires patience, but Jason has just as much patience as he has technical problem-solving ability. He also has a genuine desire to help people by getting them unstuck from whatever issue is slowing them down.
“People get really excited when you can resolve something that’s been frustrating them,” said Jason. “They can be having a horrible day because they forgot their password or locked themselves out of their account. Then we get them up and running within a matter of minutes and it completely turns their day around.”
Every Day is Different
Life as part of the Alpha Team is different every day and Jason likes it that way. A bad job for him would be sitting at a desk, staring at a screen, doing the same thing every day. It’s not like that at Accent where he’s learning something new all the time.
Jason has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Management, and during his year and a half of employment at Accent he’s been encouraged to expand his skills with advanced training. The company provides incentives for employees, covering the cost of certifications and granting bonuses for successful completion. Accent’s attitude about education has been a refreshing change from what Jason experienced with previous employers.
“Accent has a proactive stand on furthering your education. They really want you to know as much as you can,” explained Jason. “I’ve worked at other places where certifications could have helped out, but the employer wasn’t willing to assist with the expense.”
Knowledge doesn’t just come from formal training. Jason has found that working collaboratively as a team expands the resources that everyone has available to find solutions to problems.
Culture of Teamwork and Open Communication
“We work really well together. If we get a situation where we’re not sure what to do next, we always reach out,” Jason said. “Someone else will send me a message that says, ‘Hey, by the way, this was a quick fix, you just missed this one thing right here,’ and I can add that to what I know the next time that shows up.”
This kind of teamwork is only possible with open communication and according to Jason, the lines of communication between leadership and staff are just as active. When he came to Accent, he was quite surprised at how approachable Accent’s owner, Marty Kaufman, is.
“Marty could definitely not pull off undercover boss at all,” said Jason. “He’s hanging around here and everyone knows what he looks like. He could not fly under the radar.”
Encouraged to Take the Initiative
Jason also appreciates how open management are to suggestions for improvement. He’s seen a few of his ideas turned into changes for the better, and he’s noticed how creative thinking and a proactive attitude are valued.
“Jason is always taking the initiative and comes up with ideas that I don’t think about,” said Erik Bekke, Team Service Manager. “He brings a lot to my attention and is always thinking about what’s best for the team to improve how we serve the client.”
Helping People is What It’s All About
Serving the client is what it’s all about for Jason and though he’s not directly looking at the people he helps, he can probably measure success in smiles because he knows he’s turned their day around.