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4 Tips for Solving WFH Audio, Video Problems

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Someone who is working from home
Image: fizkes - stock.adobe.com
At-home workers are often faced with many technical challenges, everything from security issues to connectivity challenges. Most enterprise IT organizations are prepared to help in-office workers; IT staff can walk down the hall or take an elevator to another floor to meet a user. However, traveling to an employee's home is not practical for most companies.
 
We've all heard the story where someone on a call suddenly lost audio or video quality, only to find out that their children were online doing homework — AKA playing video games. Many users have experienced a call dropping just because they moved from one room to another during a call. One research report claims that at-home workers spend six hours a week trying to resolve in-home technical issues.
 
Given the need for good quality audio and video, what is an at-home worker to do? Below we explore four recommendations for supporting at-home workers, which IT might investigate to address audio and video issues. They are:
  1. Add another Internet connection or increase bandwidth — A simple and relatively inexpensive solution is adding a dedicated circuit for business or increasing the bandwidth on your existing circuit to support the whole family.
  2. Invest in access point management:
    • Get a Wi-Fi analyzer app — Many good Wi-Fi analyzer apps are available that can help troubleshoot your home network. Find out why you lose connectivity when you move your laptop from place to place. For more information on the topic, read this comparitech article.
    • Managed connectivity — Companies like Cisco Meraki and Extreme Networks provide hardware and software solutions to help those tasked with supporting at-home workers. Extreme Networks has a helpful Cloud Managed Networking for Dummies book available.
  3. Perform a self-test before a call — Most collaboration apps have self-test capabilities. You can check out your camera, speaker(s), and microphone. Some even allow you to make a test call. If you use different collaboration apps, it is important to check the settings when you move to a different app.
  4. Sign up for white-glove service — Best known for smartphone insurance, Asurion has several programs to support at-home workers. For example, Asurion Enterprise has programs for enterprises to simplify home office onboarding and first-line technical support, including home visits. Technology providers and channel partners can set up and customize these services for their customers. Employees whose employers aren't providing the right kind of support can sign up for an Asurion Home program. This program not only supports employees’ work technology but all the technology in the home as well.
The pandemic has shown we can be as productive working from home as in the office, even with technical challenges. Vendors are all scrambling to add support for hybrid work, which will include support for at-home workers. I hope the tips above help your communication and collaboration experiences be the best they can be.

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This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.

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