When work is happening: Using atSpoke to decipher at home trends

At atSpoke, our mission is to help everyone work smart and fast with modern internal ticketing. One perspective we’re uniquely able to offer is the trends behind internal support tickets, and last week, we shared common COVID-19 requests that HR and IT teams are receiving.

Today, we wanted to answer questions we received about how to staff IT and HR helpdesks during COVID-19 imposed work from home. Should you keep everything the same or make some adjustments?

As in our previous analysis, we looked at several hundred thousand tickets submitted through atSpoke from Wednesday, Jan 1st, 2020 to Tuesday, March 31st, 2020. The ticket data was aggregated and anonymized, so we don’t draw any insights from specific companies and maintain privacy. 

TL; DR 

  1. Distinct change: Tickets start earlier in the day. Shift staffing levels 1 hour earlier because your colleagues aren’t commuting!!
  2. Some change: IT ticket volume has increased around 15-20%, while HR ticket volume has decreased by the same amount. IT is seeing more WFH support requests, and HR is seeing fewer benefits and payroll questions.
  3. Distinct (and very unsurprising) change: Tickets related to maintenance, facilities, and office experience have fallen off a cliff.

Goodbye Commute

Distribution of tickets by hour of the day

COVID-19 requests by hour of the day

Thousands of social science Ph.D. dissertations are going to come out of the data generated by the incredibly sudden shift from office-based jobs to work from home due to COVID-19. Common habits are suddenly being disrupted – for example, the disappearance of the morning commute resulted in a 10% drop in podcast consumption. 


The ticketing world’s version of this change is that your ticket volume starts 1 hour earlier than usual. This change is remarkably consistent across companies and functions. Without a morning commute, your colleagues are at work earlier. At the same time, it also looks like they’re stepping away from their keyboards a bit earlier in the evenings.

IT is busier. HR is not.

Daily normalized ticket volume for IT and HR

COVID-19 HR and IT Ticket Volume

We looked at daily IT and HR ticket volume normalized to pre-COVID-19 times. Both IT and HR teams saw a significant increase in ticket volume in the first week of March as companies started preparing for WFH. 

After the initial spike, IT volume has remained at an elevated level of 15-20% higher than normal. In our previous analysis, we saw much of this increase come from WFH hardware and software requests, questions about IT information consistency and organization, and infrastructure and coverage ownership questions. 

In contrast, HR ticket volume has declined by nearly 20% after WFH started. Looking at the data, the largest drops are in questions around payroll and benefits.

Filed under obvious but still jarring

Daily volume for facilities and office tickets

ticket volume

Though it’s no big surprise, it’s still interesting to see how ticket volume for facilities and office management teams changed over the last few weeks. Similar to IT and HR, the workplace experienced a spike when preparing for WFH followed by a sharp reduction to nearly nothing 😦.

We hope this helps you balance your support hours to most effectively serve your colleagues, and we’ll follow this soon with some insights on which tools are best to help with work from home.

Stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side!

Are you an existing atSpoke user?