Working from home is getting much more common these days. People enjoy the flexibility, they feel they have more time to be productive, and it helps employers cut down on costs. But, working from home does mean you need to be concerned about different things. One of the big worry points should be your internet connection and speed at your house.
Since working from home likely requires some type of connection, whether it involves remoting into your machine at work, or accessing your files through a cloud storage program, your internet is the major player in making it happen. So, if you have trouble with your internet at your house, working from home may not be a possibility for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your internet connection at your house might be having trouble supporting you when you try to work from home:
Slow speed/Not enough bandwidth
When you are working in an office building, the internet connection is going to be a pretty powerful one. It needs to be, because that is a space that is designed for a large number of people to be connected to the internet at the same time. In contrast though, your home is a space where not as many people are going to connect to the internet. Even if you have multiple computers and mobile devices and smart TVs that are all accessing the internet, it is likely still going to be less than at your office. Additionally, the type of data that you are going to be accessing at home versus at the office is different too, and that is going to impact the speed and bandwidth.
If you work from home, in a rural neighborhood, have you ever noticed that around 3 PM on Friday your internet suddenly becomes much slower? The reason for this is pretty simple, and pretty funny. All the kids have gotten home from school for the weekend, and have immediately turned to their laptops, tablets, etc. Simply put, more people are trying to use the internet in your area, and it’s causing a traffic jam.
Too much other technology
As strange as it might sound, other technological appliances in your home can have a negative impact on your internet connection. Microwaves, refrigerators, etc. can interfere with the internet connection. This is pretty unfortunate because you can’t exactly get rid of those things. Also, if you are using a wi-fi connection (not plugging your computer directly into the network), things with radio waves can interfere with the connection. For example, if you have a cordless land-line phone in your house, that could cause interference with your wi-fi connection, because it will cause too much noise and chatter on the radio frequency.
So, what’s the solution?
If you really want to work from home, you need to make sure you have an internet connection that can handle it. This means you need to talk to your IT professionals and work with your Internet Provider to make sure you have the speed and bandwidth to handle it. Something to keep in mind though- if you want to increase your speed and bandwidth it is going to cost you more. So you will have to factor that in when you make your decision.
One important note to add here is that we always insist our clients who want to work from home have a firewall at their house. From a security standpoint, you don’t want to work from home without one. Without a firewall, it is possible for someone who is using your wi-fi connection to have access to your company network. So, that is another cost and concern that needs to be on your list.
Also, you are going to want to test it out first. Try working from home for a few days and see what it’s like. If it turns out your connection is too slow or your bandwidth can’t handle it, you might have to come up with a different solution, because if you can’t be just as productive (if not more so) outside the office, it probably is not the best choice for the company.