Will working from home become the new normal?

Many of us have had to adapt, over recent months, no matter where we live in the world, to working from home. Within weeks the way we do business changed, is this a temporary fix or will this new way of working continue long after COVID-19 has gone?

For some of us, we already did a bit of home working so the adjustments were minimal however it seems for the vast majority of new homeworkers the adjustment has come very quickly and often as quite a shock. For some the dining room or kitchen table became the new office space, this comes with its own challenges especially from a comfort point of view.  If you have a special chair at the office set up for you the dining room chair will not cut the mustard to sit on for 7 or 8 hours at home. Thankfully many companies have allowed workers to take the work chair home but for some, they have had to make do. Families have had to share the workspace; you may have a couple of adults working from home as well as kids home-schooling. How do you fit it all in? Will your internet connection hold up to a remote connection to two workplaces along with the kids using google classroom, or similar, to do their school work?

Companies very quickly set up remote working, employees and employers alike had to get used to this new normal. Online meeting software and video conferencing really did take off not only for workers but for families and friends too. How many video pub quizzes have you taken part in recently? How many online video fitness workouts have you done?

Mid-March we saw lots of companies start to prepare for the lockdown buying in Power over Ethernet devices for their VoIP phones, Homeplug kits were purchased so workers could get their work laptops online at home. Some companies even sent their workers home with their desktop computers which then needed connecting up to the home network. ISP’s stepped up offering VPN traffic at unlimited data measures to ensure homeworkers were not limited by their usual connection limits. 

What did the new homeworker do where they normally just relied on their mobile phone connection for internet use at home? We saw a rapid increase in sales of 4G routers and 4G antenna covering these workers and those that live in remote areas where the fibre or ADSL does not reach. Improved speeds over 4G, and in some areas 5G, have seen access for most increase even where ‘normal’ lines are not available. 

If remote working has, or will, become your new normal, take a look and see how Solwise can help you get more from your existing home network or how we can help with putting in new hardware to get you online.

Point-to-Point Wireless links or outdoor Access Points; get WiFi to your home/garden office
I have a summerhouse (fancy shed) in my garden where it is nice to sit for peace and quiet or if I need some privacy for a private meeting for work away from kids and family. The WiFi from inside the house struggles to get to the summerhouse so we put a Patriot-DB on the back of the house and now we have WiFi all over the garden and into the fancy shed.

It was very simple to set up, we ran a wire from the router inside – drilled a hole through the wall – ran the wire to the Patriot-DB and voila it all worked. This is a simple solution to get WiFi outside. If you have a longer distance to go across your property you could do the link with a pair of EnGenius Bridging Units, one at the house and the other receiving at your remote building, ideal for large garden/home office situations, farms, small holdings, industrial units and the like. See our video for creating a simple WiFi Link

Power over Ethernet – get your work VoIP phone online at home
PoE Injector
Many people in recent weeks have had to take the work VoIP phone home – this is a phone that keeps you on your work phone system and is run over the internet but often doesn’t have a normal power supply. In your office at work it will be run from a network point on the wall but we don’t all have those in our homes – a basic power over ethernet injector generally does the job – we offer a good range to suit most VoIP phones.


Network cable – struggle with WiFi, run cable around your home
Network Cable
Not for the fainthearted but probably simpler than you think. Running cables often gives you the best result. You can run cables over distances and put an Access Point at the other end, you can run the cables around the outside of your home and terminate at a network point inside the property. The uses are endless – give us a call to discuss your requirements.


Fibre or ADSL a no go in your area?
4G Router and Antenna

4G/5G definitely worth a try, good range of Teltonika routers and Poynting Antenna, something for every situation. Take a look at how Tjeerd from Poynting improved his 4G connection whilst he had to work from home during the COVID lockdown - this is a speedtest video showing his new setup.


Temporary Solution required?

Consider USB antenna and WiFi router combo. Traditionally we have sold the Patriot kits for Motorhomers, Caravanners and boaters so they can keep in touch whilst away. More recently we are seeing people use these kits as a temporary solution to get different parts of their homes/garden office/caravan on the drive etc online to use as temporary office spaces whilst working from home. Check the Patriot Kits out to see if they will suit a temporary solution for you.


Whatever your requirement we should have something to help. Just give us a call or pop an email over.

Author: Louise Barrett, Solwise Ltd.