We’ve all had this experience: We log onto our computers at work and something’s no longer working. Maybe we aren’t receiving our e-mail messages. Maybe our Web browser has slowed to a creep. Maybe the computer crashes every 10 minutes. No matter the problem, it makes it extremely hard for you to complete your work. You now have one solution: Call your IT department. Sadly, that can often cause as many headaches as your current computing problem.

It’s not always easy to communicate with your IT department staff. They are specialists in their field and it’s easy to feel uninformed in the face of people with such knowledge. Specially when the solution to your problem is “Turn it off, wait a short time, and turn it back on again.” It can also seem like they are speaking a different language altogether.

In order to make this interaction easier for you and your IT professional, you can follow these tips. They will also hasten the process of getting a solution.

No Reason to be Intimidated

Do not be intimidated by their substantial knowledge. This does not help communication. If you’re not confident, it will be harder to describe the problem even if you know the appropriate terminology. Also, remember while they are the professionals in their field, you are a specialist in yours as well.

Screenshots

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 replicate 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 provide them with the better.

A Written Report

Finally, keep a written report of your problems. If you notice that the same problems are taking place whenever you check your messages, write this down in a notebook. Make a new entry every time the problem reappears. This, too, will help you communicate your computing difficulties with your IT personnel.

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.