working from home

What to expect when working from home

Over the last week, many companies are asking their employees to work from home. As employees start to set up for home-based operations, here are some items to consider.

Quality of home internet connection – consumer internet connection varies. With a significant number of users asked to work from home, there will be delays. ECS recommendation every employee test their home internet connection. If you have an option for backup/hotspot, this can give employees some redundancy if home internet fails or is very slow.

Home network wired and wireless access – most computers in the office connect to the system with a wired ethernet cable that plugs into the wall. Many homes are not wired for ethernet and may only have a Wi-Fi network with a limited range. If a company is sending a desktop home with an employee, additional consideration is needed for proper operations.

Communication and Video Conferences – communication with your employees and co-workers is critical when working from home. ECS recommends using Office 365 Teams for meetings, chat, instant message, and collaboration. If you are going to take advantage of voice features of Teams (ability to make, receive calls) or another VOIP solution, a webcam and a good USB headset will help. To improve consistency for all users, select a specific brand and model, and provide this to your employees.

Multi-monitor setup – many work computers are set up with dual screens. The second monitor can help keep a consistent work process the employee knows. However, connecting a second monitor requires the computer to support multi-monitor configuration and may require additional cables to connect.

Troubleshooting Problems – home-based setup will vary from user to user. Your IT support contact/provider may not have information regarding the specific setup at the house. With a general push to work remotely, there will be increase in additional delays. Here are a few tips that can help the user resolve problems quickly.

  • If you are experiencing internet connectivity problems, please restart your internet equipment (modem, router, Wi-Fi access points). This should resolve most issues.
  • If the internet seems slow, sometimes this can be caused by a browser with many tabs opened or a computer that hasn’t been recently rebooted. It’s always a good idea to close and reopen your browser if web browsing seems sluggish or, even better, save your work and restart the computer.
  • It is always advisable to use your company-issued computer to perform any work or access any company data or resources. Your personal computer may not have the same level of protection as your company computer.
  • If you are working from home and having issues, please contact ECS Support.

Additional considerations – schools are closed, other family members may be staying at homer, the work environment is different. A combination of all these changes may add stress to your employees. Here are some tips from other sources on how to organize work schedules and help smooth over the transition to working from home.

New Equipment Orders – many distributors, manufacturing, and supply chains are disrupted.  New equipment and computer orders are delayed. If you have new projects, new employees, and need additional equipment, please let us know so we can have plenty of lead time to order what is needed.

Is your business ready for employees to work from home? Take this quick self assessment to find out.