They estimate that by the year 2025, over 36 million Americans will be working from home for some or all of their working week.
It’s going to be a huge learning curve for many of these workers and one challenge they’re going to have to face is learning to sort out their own technical issues.
After all, the company helpdesk won’t be able to send someone to swing by your desk and fix it for you.
So, we’ve come up with a list of some of the most common working from home technical issues and their fixes.
We’ve broken the main problems down into internet, computer, communication and physical issues.
You’ll be pleased to know, there aren’t that many of each.
Common Internet Problems
We’ve got a separate guide to setting up a VPN, so we won’t repeat that here but if you haven’t already got a VPN – it’s worth doing.
Variable Wi-Fi Signals
This can be a real pain.
You sit in one room and work and everything’s fine and then you move into the kitchen when your kids come home and suddenly… your internet signal is weaker than a kitten.
The easiest way to solve this is to sink a few bucks into a Mesh Wi-Fi system.
This allows you to add additional Wi-Fi access points to your home Wi-Fi network.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on this either, the Amazon Eero, for example, is less than $200 and includes 3 additional access points.
Find the perfect Mesh Wi-Fi system online here.
The Internet’s Too Slow
If you only use the Internet casually while you’re at home now, you may never really have noticed that it was slow or you may not have cared much.
But once you’re trying to upload work files to e-mail and you’re spending 5 minutes waiting for each one to go, then you’re going to care.
You might want to try upgrading your home Wi-Fi connection (the Eero mentioned above will do) but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to get onto your Internet provider and upgrade.
If they can’t help, you may want to change providers.
We’d also recommend that you have a backup solution, just in case your main Internet connection goes down.
A cellular plan with some data (try to get it bundled so that it’s cheap) is perfect for this.
Common Computer Problems
Modern computers are much hardier than they used to be and you won’t be confronted with the “Blue Screen of Death” very often anymore.
However, there are three issues that you may run into that need dealing with.
Data loss is very hard to undo. So, it’s best to deal with this problem before it becomes a problem.
Pay for Cloud Storage – you can get it from Google, from Microsoft (it’s included if you pay for MS Office), from Dropbox, etc. and make sure that you backup your work as you go.
The alternative is to post a broken hard drive to a data recovery specialist and wait for the $1,000+ invoice and no guarantee of all your data back.
If you’re working on the family computer, then a big problem can be that it has multiple users.
You want to ensure that you create separate logins and passwords for everybody and that you never share the work one.
This prevents the loss of data and the inappropriate use of company tools.
Your Screen Is Too Small
That 13” laptop was super cute when you bought it and you only intended to use it for a bit of Facebook.
Now that you’re stuck using it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the screen is so small that you’re at risk of developing a permanent squint.
The solution is simply to buy an additional screen for it.
We like a portable screen (because it means you can move anywhere even if you are hybrid working) and would recommend the Cocopar Portable 17.3” screen which is very fairly priced.
Find the Cocopar Portable Screen online here.
Common Communication Problems
You may also find that even if your Internet and Computer are in perfect working order that you have a few issues on your Zoom calls.
Video Calls Are Poorly Lit
Our homes, by and large, weren’t designed for video conferencing and it’s entirely possible that when you video call from your home office desk – you look like a creature of the eternal night due to a lack of lighting.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on lights.
You can buy a ring light (though be careful how you position it or you’ll end up with halos in your eyes) or an LED light very cheaply, indeed.
Find some great ring light online here.
Video Calls Have A Poor Sound Quality
If you can’t hear people on your video calls then it’s time to buy a better headset, you can opt for something with an inbuilt microphone like the Logitech G PRO X headset we’ve linked to below.
This makes it much easier to hear the person on the other end and it will also improve how you sound to them.
Find the Logitech G Pro X online here.
We’ve got an awesome guide to eliminating background noise in your home office but if that’s not practical for you then a noise cancelling headset might be the next best thing.
This model from BlueParrott is very popular with teleworkers.
FInd this model online here.
Finally, there are a couple of common physical issues that you may face related to your technical set up.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
RSI is caused by making too many small movements that lead to mild strain on the body but which, over time, causes serious problems.
The way to avoid it is to invest in wrist wrests for mice and keyboards if you feel any strain taking place as you type.
Don’t worry they’re super cheap.
Find some wrist wrests online here.
Back problems are going to be caused by you hunching over your keyboard (in which case use a raiser to lift up your laptop to a comfortable height) or by using a chair that wasn’t meant for long-term use.
We firmly believe that “it’s all in the chair” when it comes to remote working. Don’t skimp on this, buy a great office chair.
Final Thoughts On Common Technical Issues Of Working From Home
As you can see, there aren’t that many common technical issues for remote workers and people who work from home and they’re all very easy to overcome.
The best thing to do if you hit a problem that’s not on our list is Google for a solution – someone is bound to have had the same issue as you at some point.