We’ve all had this experience: We log onto our computers at work and something is not working. Maybe we aren’t receiving our e-mail messages. Maybe our Web browser has slowed to a crawl. Maybe the computer crashes every 10 minutes. Regardless of the problem, it makes it extremely hard for you to complete your work. You now have one alternative: Call your IT department. Unfortunately, that can sometimes cause as many headaches as your current computing problem.

It can be difficult to communicate with your IT department. It can feel like they speak a different language, and trying to explain the issue you experienced with your limited knowledge could make you feel ignorant. Particularly if the solution is “Turn it off, wait a minute, and turn it back on again.” For whatever reason, this seems to be the solution far too often.

There are some actions you can take to make this interaction a little easier. The tips below will not only make communication go more smoothly, they will also get your problem solved faster.

No Reason to be Intimidated

Do not be intimidated by their considerable knowledge. This does not help communication. If you are not confident, it will be harder to explain the problem even if you know the correct terminology. Also, remember that while they are the professionals in their field, you are an expert in yours as well.


Screenshots are a blessing for IT professionals. Take screenshots of what is happening. This includes any error messages you get, or everything that pops up that is out of the ordinary. If you cannot take screenshots, try to reproduce the problem for them when they reach your desk. Let them watch the actions you take that cause the problem. The more information you can give them the better.

A Written Report

If you notice that every time you do a specific thing you experience a problem, write it down. Every time the same problem occurs, take note of the programs you had open and the error message you got. IT professionals need to know the full scope of what they are working with to seriously fix your problem.

Hopefully these tips will help you next time your computer crashes and you need to work with your IT department. Effective and clear communication is the most efficient way to get you back on your feet and working.


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