Working from home has come into the spotlight in the last few years as offices closed and businesses and employees adapted to new ways of working, but it’s not a flash in the pan phenomenon and is something that will continue long into the future for many people.
Roughly 30% of the global workforce is expected to keep working from home in the future according to a study by Global Workplace Analytics.
This brings its own challenges when it comes to connectivity, especially when it comes to the question of using home broadband for work – or whether you should switch to a business broadband connection for your home office.
Does ‘home’ broadband really cut it in a home office
For short-term working from home, residential broadband can be a sustainable option.
But if you’re a full-time home based employee, or a business owner working from a home office, you’ll quickly find that a residential broadband connection struggles to sustain your needs.
There’s a few reasons for this:
1 – Network capacity
Home broadband is designed to meet the needs of a home (not surprisingly) which means reliably connecting smartphones, a smart TV, laptops, tablets and potentially some more smart devices to the network.
While the number of devices can be a lot, they don’t typically require a lot of bandwidth to run smoothly – the most you’re likely to do is download or stream TV shows and movies.
When you’re working over a home network, it’s a different story.
As well as competing for bandwidth with the devices in your home, you’re trying to complete much more data heavy tasks like connecting to cloud systems, making video calls, running data reliant applications, making calls, sending messages and – likely – sending and receiving large data files.
Home broadband isn’t equipped for these tasks and you could quickly find your connection slowing and lagging while you’re trying to complete important work.
2 – Download (and upload) speeds can let you down
When you’re at home most of your activity will be downloading or streaming content to devices. And for the most part these are manageable on a home connection.
It’s different in business though because you’re not just downloading content, you’re sending it too – and the upload speeds on residential broadband aren’t equipped to handle the kind of data heavy files and applications you’ll be sending.
This means you won’t be able to reliably send files and information over your home connection, which could lead to losses in productivity and – ultimately – money.
3 – Your connections aren’t prioritised
When you get connected to a residential broadband service, you share space on the network with all the other homes connected to the same connection box on the street.
This means you’re not just competing for bandwidth against all the other devices in your own home, you’re competing against all the other devices in all the other homes connected to the same box.
When this causes delays or lag on a stream, or causes your internet connection to slow down, it can be a bit of an inconvenience.
But when it creates disruption when you’re trying to access your company’s system or send files to customers, it can be a serious problem for your business.
With business broadband, your connection gets priority over all the other connections so you never need to worry about your ability to operate your business when working from home.
4 – What’s your security like?
All broadband comes with security built in but the challenges facing a business when it comes to cyber attacks are much more complex than those facing individuals.
This is because the value of data stolen from a business is higher than if it was taken from a single person – which means you need a higher level of security than is built into residential broadband.
Business broadband has higher levels of security and encryption built in to keep your critical business data and information more secure.
On top of this, you can install higher levels of security on top of business broadband to make your security even more adaptive and effective in tackling security attacks.
5 – Better, faster technical support
When you have problems with home broadband, you’ll know the experience of trying to get in touch with customer support to get the issue resolved.
It can be a long process and if the problem needs an engineer to come and resolve it, it can take a few days to get your connection back up and running properly.
For a business, any reductions in connections like this need to be resolved as quickly as possible and a business certainly can’t wait days – or even hours – for their broadband connection to be restored.
When you sign up for business broadband, you get a shorter Service Level Agreement (SLA) which means you’ll get support quicker to get your business broadband up and running.
6 – Get a static IP address
When you use home broadband it comes with a dynamic IP address that changes when you log on to the internet. While this won’t really cause a problem when you’re streaming content or browsing the internet, it can cause problems when trying to remotely connect to your business’ network.
Business security will often try to restrict access to unrecognised IPs to keep the network safe.
With business broadband you get a static IP address which makes it much easier to remotely connect to your business’ network.
Don’t rely on home broadband for a home office
While your office might now be a part of your home, it doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t get the best broadband connections available.
Whether you’re working from a home office or a commercial space you still need reliable, secure connections to all your business data and systems.
With business broadband in your home office you can the same level of access, speeds and security you could expect when working from any other office, just within the comfort of your own space
Want to know about the benefits of using business broadband for your home office or looking for the best business broadband deal? Get in touch with our expert team today.