Remote work has become increasingly popular during the pandemic and it continues long after everything has gone back to normal. For many remote workers, the flexibility and convenience of a home office replace the need to commute back to work. However, a common challenge that home-based workers face when it comes to improving their setup is a slow internet connection.
While upgrading your broadband package is often suggested as the main solution, there are instances where this may not be effective. So let’s explore the various factors that can contribute to a slow Internet connection or an apparently slow remote process. I’ll also discuss alternative strategies that have got nothing to do with upgrading your broadband plan.
Measuring your Internet speed
Perhaps the first thing to do when you are concerned about your connection speed is to actually measure it. You can rapidly run a speedtest from any device connected to your broadband. It takes only a few minutes and can give you a full overview of the speed at which your connection can upload and download data. Organisations recommend a minimum of 50 to 100 Mbps download speed for effective remote work. Depending on the home apps you are using, there may be some room for slower speeds. How fast your connection truly needs to be is something your company can answer.
Determining available Internet connection and suppliers
If your speed test has revealed slow connection issues, it’s now time for you to explore the options available. Bear in mind that the Internet at your address may differ from coworkers at a different address. Indeed, you may already be on the best possible package available at your location. Unfortunately, not all Internet providers will serve all areas.
Considering co-working spaces
In this scenario, your connection is too slow for efficient remote work, and there is no better option available at your home address. Living in areas where reliable broadband or NBN providers are scarce can make it challenging for remote workers. In such cases, opting for a co-working space can be a fantastic alternative. Co-working facilities provide high-speed Internet connections, as well as a professional environment and networking opportunities for remote workers. This can also solve problems of self-isolation and loneliness that remote workers can experience.
Clearing your disk or your RAM
Slow Internet connectivity is not solely attributed to network issues. Your speed test could come back, revealing that you have access to a fast connection. Your device performance could be at fault. A packed laptop disk or limited RAM can contribute to a sluggish online experience. To address this, regularly clear your laptop’s memory by removing unnecessary files and uninstalling unused programmes. This handy guide helps you free up RAM space, whether you use a Windows or Mac laptop.
It’s good practice to save large files externally, such as on an external storage disk or directly in the cloud. This can free up considerable space and help your device perform more rapidly.
In conclusion, upgrading your broadband may not always be the best option when your Internet is sluggish. With many other options available, it’s important to understand what is causing your issue first.
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