Over 15% of people working from home experience daily connectivity issues, which get in the way of their work and even leave them unable to do their jobs. Despite this, remote work was already well-established in many companies long before the pandemic started. For many staff, working from home affords a better work-life balance and improved productivity.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has shown that many companies and their employees weren’t able to adapt to remote work so easily. One of the most common reasons for this was connectivity issues, especially given how much companies rely on cloud services and remotely hosted virtual machines.
If your employees are experiencing connectivity issues, here are a few things that might help:
1. Eliminate bandwidth hogs
Home internet connections are often significantly slower than those in the typical workplace. After all, they’re usually not intended for several people to use at once, and upload speeds tend to be much lower as well. While there’s not a lot you can do about these limitations, other than by referring to your internet service provider, freeing up some bandwidth can make a world of difference. For example, if a household member is watching Netflix on another device while you’re in the middle of a video conference, call quality can be severely affected. Similarly, background downloads and automatic updates can bring your connection to a crawl. Eliminating these bandwidth hogs during work hours will keep disruption to a minimum.
2. Update your software
Sometimes, outdated software can be the culprit. While most operating systems, browsers, and other software update automatically, it’s always a good idea to make sure they have the latest patches. This is also important from a security standpoint, since outdated software can expose vulnerabilities that malware might exploit. When it comes to network connectivity, pay special attention to keeping your router firmware, browser software, and network hardware drivers up to date.
3. Avoid Wi-Fi where possible
Most connectivity issues arise from factors like low signal strength or interference in wireless connections. While you can mitigate these issues by repositioning your router or installing a range extender, it’s better to use a cabled connection where possible. Using a Cat 6 ethernet cable will always give you a faster and more reliable connection that isn’t nearly as vulnerable to interference. If, however, it’s not practical to run a cable between your router and computer, you can try powerline networking instead, which uses the electrical infrastructure in your home to deliver the signal.
4. Check your connection settings
If your hardware works, your software is up to date, and no service outage has been reported in your area, then the problem might be caused by a misconfiguration. The Windows Network Troubleshooter can solve some problems, or at least provide you with a specific error code or problem name that you can refer to later.
However, if that fails, be sure to check your IP and DNS settings. In Windows 10, navigate to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > Change adapter options. Click the Properties button, and ensure “Obtain IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically” are enabled. These values should be set to automatic unless instructed otherwise by your administrator.
5. Verify connection to the company VPN
Finally, most businesses use a corporate VPN to protect and monitor the flow of business data between remote workers and cloud-hosted company resources. For example, if you’re trying to connect to the company’s financial systems, you’ll probably be unable to gain access unless you’re connected via the VPN. If the company VPN is down, however, network connectivity to work apps and systems might be limited or completely disabled.
HERO Managed Services offers unlimited support and expert guidance to help your business thrive in the age of remote work. Get in touch today to optimize your networks and enhance everyone’s remote work experience.