Remote workers need consistent Wi-Fi to stay productive. Learn why real-time monitoring is a must for virtual teams.
- Remote work depends on high-performing wireless networks that can support real-time interactions like VoIP and video conferencing
- Here are 4 ways to promote better remote Wi-Fi:
- VoIP optimization
- Equipment upgrades
- Effective data dashboards
- Real-time wireless network monitoring
Remote work has become the new normal for companies of all sizes and types. Employees have had to adapt by creating a home office space and making other changes that help them stay productive and avoid interruptions.
One study from Upwork found that almost half of the American workforce was working fully remotely nine months into the pandemic, and managers say that 26.7% of the workforce will remain fully remote over the next year.
In many cases, workers have had to shift to managing their own Wi-Fi connections or depending on IT to help them with troubleshooting at diverse locations. Here is a look at the best Wi-Fi solutions for remote workers, including a deep dive into why real-time wireless network monitoring is critical.
Why is real-time response crucial for remote work?
Some companies have found that remote work has actually increased productivity since the pandemic began. However, many employees report feeling more isolated and disengaged from their teams and roles. Then, there are the technical hurdles. When something goes wrong with an employee’s wireless network or their work devices, productivity tanks, especially when users quickly become discouraged.
For most jobs that can be done remotely, employees can't stay productive without a reliable and robust internet connection. While some administrative tasks may not take much bandwidth, like updating spreadsheets or saving small files to a cloud platform, many of today’s workers routinely use data-intensive tools like Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, video conferencing, and live streaming, to name a few.
For these high-bandwidth activities to be reliable, IT managers must have a system in place to detect issues immediately, and they must resolve them fast or proactively. IT personnel simply don’t have time to field numerous requests from workers simultaneously—all of whom may need an instant solution because of a dropped call or an unhappy customer.
Real-time solutions can only happen when remote network managers are prepared to tackle issues on the spot and before they result in drops—and that means implementing the right solutions to help these networks thrive.
Wi-Fi solutions for remote workers
Let’s discuss a few ways that IT teams can help remote workers with solutions that work in real-time or close to it—or help prevent issues from occurring at all.
1. VoIP and videoconferencing optimization
Remote worker productivity relies on communication. Employees depend on their Wi-Fi to conduct meetings and client calls, likely using the internet instead of cell phone service. But leveraging VoIP and virtual meeting tools effectively requires Wi-Fi that can handle the bandwidth needed to support seamless calls and other activities simultaneously.
One proactive step to achieve this consistency is ensuring that a worker’s home router has good Quality of Service (QoS), which aims to prevent packet loss, delays, and jitter. QoS basically prioritizes internet traffic so that a phone call or video conference will be given better service than less critical activities, like a small file download. This prioritization happens in real-time so that calls are not lost and business can run normally.
Another solution to support VoIP is to disable SIP ALG on the router. This feature is essentially a firewall on the equipment and may be enabled by default. If it is enabled, remote workers could experience call issues more frequently. Nevertheless, be sure that this step is balanced with other tools that maintain adequate security.
2. Equipment upgrades
Some remote workers don’t have the basic equipment necessary to support strong Wi-Fi for work applications. Assess their type of service, whether it’s cable or DSL. You may need to update their modem or router to meet current requirements if devices are out of date. Sometimes, the cause of a poorly performing network is simply outdated equipment.
Take a look at other types of hardware and software remote workers need to stay productive, whether they are cloud storage solutions, security software, remote desktops, VPNs, or collaboration software. These tools need to be updated regularly and optimized to run on given devices.
3. Data dashboards
A crucial way to support remote Wi-Fi environments is to collect diverse network data and analyze what is causing issues as they arise. Performance metrics like signal strength and data transmission rate need to be recorded and monitored. Otherwise, you may have no idea what happened when an employee lost service.
Use a solution that aggregates this information in an easy-to-access-and-evaluate dashboard where you can view performance data in real-time, helping you respond faster when something goes wrong.
4. Real-time network monitoring
A remote monitoring solution that keeps tabs on network performance at all times is needed to gather the aforementioned data. Network conditions should be tracked and tested continuously so that if a worker is on a call or video meeting, you can detect recurring issues before sessions drop. Many times, network managers can also deploy the proper fix in the moment to keep things moving.
Enhanced monitoring requires investing in new platforms that can be installed on workers’ devices, including software that runs active and passive tests. The best way to detect issues in real-time is to view network performance from the perspective of the end-user. And the tools from 7SIGNAL help your team do just that.
7SIGNAL’s Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) platform
7SIGNAL provides the comprehensive solution you need to keep remote teams productive. Our Mobile Eye® can be installed on employee devices and deliver performance insights instantly. IT staff can view data in a convenient dashboard that continuously reports on both events and trends.
The Mobile Eye module can be installed on a variety of devices used by employees, from laptops to tablets to smartphones. It runs active and passive Wi-Fi tests around the clock to provide 24/7 visibility into what’s happening from the end-user’s perspective.
Wireless network monitoring is the solution to fixing remote network issues in real-time, helping team members stay on task and productive. Contact us to learn more!
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise wireless experience monitoring. 7SIGNAL provides a cloud-based platform that continuously monitors wireless networks and identifies elusive performance issues impacting application performance and digital experience. By taking the “outside-in” approach to monitoring, 7SIGNAL has visibility into the edge of any enterprise or home Wi-Fi network where complex device interaction exists, and user experience matters most. The platform maximizes employee productivity, operational efficiency, and network ROI. Sapphire Eye® and Mobile Eye® are designed for and deployed at the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, healthcare systems, and government agencies. Learn more at www.7signal.com.