Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is becoming the norm for any and all industries that allow for it. This trend is expected to grow and become a standard option for the future of business, even as local, state, and federal restrictions are lifted over time.  It is expected that as the year goes on, we will see a gradual return to work, and more use of a hybrid workforce, where employees utilize both their work and home environment.

According to an Upwork study, 41.8% of Americans are still working remotely based on the study which surveyed 100 small business owners over a six-month period since the COVID-19 pandemic rose.  It is expected that 26.7% of the workforce will be fully remote by the end of 2021.  With more users taking their work home with them, it is important to understand the best methods and practices for ensuring a strong remote work environment including having a strong internet connection and enforcing security best practices.

As a managed IT services provider, Natural Networks understands the best ways to ensure a good network connection for remote work use.  Here are our recommendations for your remote and hybrid work team.

Building a Strong Connection

By now, we’re familiar with what a slow connection means when working remotely: slow speeds, spotty wireless connectivity, and consistent buffering during zoom calls.  Creating a strong connection between your workstation and the internet can help to keep these connectivity problems to a minimum.

Having a strong connection means being directly connected to your network.  A fully wired network where you physically connect your device to your router will always provide the strongest possible network connectivity and performance.  When working remotely, it’s always best to use a direct connection from your computer to your router.  This may mean running a Cat5 or Cat6 cable from your computer to the back of the router.

Running a physical cable may not be convenient or possible in all circumstances, however, which is why it’s also important to make sure your network equipment is using the latest network technology to ensure a strong connection over wireless as well.

If you are using a wireless connection to perform work remotely, it’s a good idea to use the latest wireless technology that’s available to keep a good connection that can reach throughout your workspace.  The latest generation of WiFi is known as WiFi 6, and it’s more than just a simple speed boost over the previous WiFi 5 technology.

WiFi 6 enabled equipment is capable of speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps, which is up from 3.5 Gbps from WiFi 5.  The vast improvements that WiFi 6 technology has over WiFi 5 is in the technologies used to improve the connectivity of multiple devices using the network.  Even though it’s unlikely anyone will see 9.6 Gbps speeds on their single device, the improvement in bandwidth allows for more devices to connect more efficiently.  WiFi 6 introduces new technologies to help mitigate the issues that come with putting dozens of devices on a single network.

WiFi 6 also improves security by introducing a new security protocol called WPA3.  This makes it harder for hackers to brute force crack passwords.

If you experience difficulty connecting to the internet wirelessly in some areas, you can also make use of WiFi 6 enabled Mesh devices.  Mesh Wireless allows you to increase your overall wireless coverage without sacrificing speeds.  Mesh-based wireless devices are able to work off of each other to blanket an area in wireless connectivity, allowing the user to place Mesh devices around the home.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can build a secure, strong remote connection for your team, give us a call today!