Working remotely? Here are some FAQs our tech teams have recently received that might just help make work-from-home life a little easier
Thousands of businesses around the globe are navigating the current challenges of going remote, and our partners are no exception. ScanSource is working to not only equip them with all of the work-from-home solutions they need to operate at a high level, but through our Go Remote initiative, we want to enable our partners to provide the solutions their end-customers need to continue to work seamlessly and efficiently. Throughout the last few weeks, our technical teams have received some questions from our partners regarding some of the challenges they or their customers are facing, including questions about products, collaboration tools and features, bandwidth, and more. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with some general tips and tricks to make remote work life more successful. We hope you find these FAQs helpful, and as always, ScanSource partners can contact their dedicated tech support team and Solution Architects at 833.231.1746 or email@example.com. Intelisys partners can find their assigned Intelisys Solution Engineer through MyIntelisys, or by working with their Channel Manager for support.
What are some of the top providers and collaboration tools you offer for audio conferencing, video conferencing, and webinars?
We work with some of the industry’s top brands and suppliers of collaboration tools. Right now, many of these suppliers are offering free trials and/or free service for basic features. All of our latest solutions and bundles can be found at www.scansource.com/goremote or www.intelisys.com/goremote.
Do I have enough bandwidth at home?
This answer really depends on what you’re using your home internet for. For the most part, most internet service providers offer strong enough bandwidth to handle most work-related activities, such as logging on to a server, sending/receiving email, and basic downloads and streaming. However, while so many more people are working from home during the day, it’s important to know how others may be sharing your home internet services (such as spouses who might be using the internet or kids playing online video games) in case limitations need to be put in place. Using an additional service, such as the Wi-Fi hotspot from your cell phone, can also help spread the bandwidth to more than one source.
My normal Power over Ethernet (POE) product is constrained. What are my options?
For home office workers, the easiest solution is to find a comparable PoE injector from another manufacturer. Most Power over Ethernet is standardized, so as long as you match up the required wattage of the device with the wattage supplied by the PoE injector, they are interchangeable.
What do I look for to ensure that a PoE injector is going to work with my device?
Start by looking up the technical specifications of the device you need to power. For example, most desktop IP phones use Class 3 PoE injectors. If the specifications don’t list the Class of PoE needed, look for maximum wattage the device may draw. Note that you want wattage, not voltage. PoE (802.3af, Class 3) has a maximum wattage of 15.4W. PoE+ and PoE++ injectors can provide up to 30W or 60W/100W respectively.
How can I use an Ethernet device at home when I don’t have the connections, cabling, etc. to hook it up?
Most of us have multiple devices running simultaneously in our homes today, such as computers, smart TVs, smart Blu-ray players, gaming systems, smartphones, and tablets. When all of these devices are able to access one single network, that network is bound to become bogged down at times. Currently, more than ever before, networks are even busier than usual with the extreme influx of remote workers. When working from home full time, it can be very beneficial to install a hardwired solution, and you can do this even when you don’t have an available Ethernet. Ethernet over Powerline adapters, paired with a switch, are a great solution. They give users one line coming out of the Ethernet Powerline adapter into an Ethernet switch, which then runs from the switch into each individual component a user wants hardwired.
What is the best style of headset for use within my home office?
Ultimately, answering the question of which is the best headset is entirely based on asking the appropriate qualifying questions. What might be the “best” headset to some may not be the “best” to others. Here are some questions to consider with choosing a headset for your home office:
- What will you be connecting the headset to? Do you prefer a wired or wireless solution?
- There are several headset styles, such as over the ear, earbuds, etc. What is your typical preference with the headphones you use for listening to music? You’re probably going to want something similar when purchasing a headset for your office.
- How do you communicate with others? Do you use a mobile device, traditional desk phone, or a soft phone application on your computing device? Maybe you use all three on a daily basis.
- Where do you work? Are you typically at your desk, or do you walk around the office (or house) a lot?
Fortunately, each of our headset suppliers offer online compatibility guides to help you through the selection process and ensure connectivity. Here are a few examples!
What are some simple ways to set up my work-from-home environment and technology to be most productive?
If possible, set up your home workspace in an area separate from the main flow of traffic in the household. If you are able to use a dedicated location, a lot of time is saved on setup and tear down, and there will be less wear and tear of your equipment. Having a laptop docking station and one or two monitors can make work a lot easier. Also, try to stay paperless. After only a few weeks working from home, a paper filing system can quickly grow and become overwhelming. Plus, ink is expensive! Use cloud storage as much as possible, and keep crucial information backed up. Lastly, video collaboration and conferencing tools, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, can help your team stay easily connected while also being able to see each other on a regular basis.