Like many people, you may be working out of your home office more these days. Experiencing technical issues such as internet connectivity problems or service interruptions can wreak havoc on your workday and make it difficult to stay on schedule. Follow these tips to get the most out of your work-from-home experience:
Hardwired Internet vs. Wi-Fi
When you’re facing a deadline, there is nothing worse than heading down the black hole that opens when you’re trying to fix internet connectivity issues. An internet connectivity test can be useful to verify the effectiveness and speed of your connection. 50Mbps is the bare minimum speed that is usually acceptable for a single home office user, but you’ll need something faster if you regularly work with large files or spend a lot of time video conferencing.
The speed of the internet service is based largely on the internet provider’s service, but the wiring can influence bandwidth. Internet speed refers to how quickly data can be uploaded or downloaded on your computer, but bandwidth refers to how much data can be uploaded or downloaded. If you spend a good portion of your day in video conference meetings, or if you have children attending online school while you’re working, you will likely need additional bandwidth.
A qualified electrician can run dedicated internet lines from the router to each computer in your home. Hardwired Ethernet-enabled connections support greater bandwidth than Wi-Fi and are more reliable. Upgrading to hardwired internet connections is a smart investment for your home office, your home workspace and your children’s online learning study spaces.
Additional Tips To Increase Work-From-Home Productivity
Gear Up Your Home Office
For a more productive home office, make sure you have the right gear. From devices to improve communication to ergonomic products for added comfort, here are some items to consider adding to your home office:
- Surge Protection. Even small electric power surges can potentially damage home office equipment and interrupt or eliminate recently completed work. For heavy-duty office equipment, opt for a surge protector with an auto shut-off feature and a cord that is long enough for your space. Here are some surge protector reviews from The New York Times.
- Quality Headset. When selecting a headset, look for a model that has background noise-blocking functionality so you can jump on conference calls with peace of mind. These are also handy to block out background noise such as children playing or dogs barking when you’re NOT in a meeting!
- Wireless Keyboard or Touchpad. A touchpad or wireless keyboard can be helpful for working more efficiently. Just be sure the device has an ergonomic design and is properly sized to your hands and wrists. In addition to helping you work comfortably; this will also help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
- External Storage. Whether you select an external drive or cloud storage, having some type of back-up storage solution is critical in the event of power loss or connectivity interruptions.
- Multifunction Printer/Copier/Scanner. “All-in-one” type printers are available at multiple price points. Having the ability to quickly scan, copy or print a document will save you the hassle of making a trip to the local copy center.
- Good Lighting. Too much or not enough light can cause eyestrain. Indirect, overhead lighting is generally best for a workspace. Try adjusting your computer monitor to be just a bit brighter than the ambient light in your office, and ensure the ambient light is bright enough to comfortably do other work like reading documents. Avoid placing a lamp immediately next to your computer, as this may result in glare. Here are some additional lighting tips.
Get Comfortable and be Organized
When setting up a home office, select a quiet dedicated space that’s free from potential distractions and take the time to clear away any clutter. Establish a filing system or utilize a file cabinet with hanging file folders so that all paperwork has a place and your workspace stays organized. It’s also important to choose an office desk and chair that fit your body well. This will help prevent back and neck strain and prevent the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Follow these ergonomic guidelines from the Mayo Clinic to make the most out of your home office space.