How to Troubleshoot Networks with Employees Working from Home

Alyssa Lamberti
Alyssa Lamberti Last updated on Jan 18, 2022

How to Troubleshoot Networks with Employees Working from Home

In Summary

Since the start of the pandemic, many employees have been working from home, which has changed the way that companies manage their IT services. In this article, we’re running you through how IT teams can use Obkio Network Monitoring to how to troubleshoot remote worker home network issues.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Why Monitor Network Performance from Home
Why Monitor Network Performance from Home

With many employees now working remotely, IT teams have had to change the way they manage their networks and services. Intermittent network issues are hard to troubleshoot and that’s even more difficult when troubleshooting with remote users working from home.

Although companies' IT teams are not responsible for managing and monitoring the networks of employees working from home, if remote employees experience serious network and Internet problems, it can affect many aspects of their job performance like:

  • The Quality of Work: Network problems can affect employees’ ability to complete tasks and lower the efficiency and quality of work.

  • User Experience: Network problems can frustrate users and create stress during the workday - which can also make them less productive.

  • Communication with Clients and Colleagues: Problems with apps like Zoom and Teams can make it difficult for users to communicate remotely. It’s not easy to understand someone when their video call keeps freezing!

Additionally, the company’s IT team will have no other chance but to take care of solving the problems to allow employees to get back to work.

How to Detect and Identify Intermittent Network Problems

Learn how to detect intermittent network problems to troubleshoot performance issues that are hard to catch with Obkio Network Monitoring software.

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Symptoms of Remote Network Problems
Symptoms of Remote Network Problems

Many of our customers have used Obkio to identify and troubleshoot network issues for their remote employees working from home.

From working with these customers, we’ve encountered a lot of similar issues that remote employees often encounter.

1. Problems with Unified Communications Apps
1. Problems with Unified Communications Apps

Remote employees rely on UC apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to communicate with colleagues and customers, but problems like laggy video quality, choppy Internet connections and other quality issues can be frustrating.

2. VoIP Quality Issues
2. VoIP Quality Issues

VoIP Quality issues are very common for remote employees because VoIP Quality can be very sensitive to network performance. VoIP issues are pretty easy to spot because you can hear your VoIP calls lagging or disconnecting.

3. Slow Application Performance
3. Slow Application Performance

Application slowdown for apps like ERP and CRMs can be very frustrating and can lead to long file transfer or download times which can affect productivity.

4. VPN Disconnection
4. VPN Disconnection

VPN performance can be greatly affected by network problems. When working from home, many users can experience VPN disconnectivity and no longer have access to the files and documents they need to work.

5. Remote Desktop (RDP/Citrix) Disconnection
5. Remote Desktop (RDP/Citrix) Disconnection

Many companies use remote desktops like Citrix Workspace to give users access to their apps, desktops and data. It’s a great way to increase productivity but, for many remote workers, remote desktops can be unstable by locking up or disconnecting in the middle of tasks.

Screencapture Network Monitoring Session Graph

Network Problems in Home Networks
Network Problems in Home Networks

The types of network problems affecting home networks can occur in several different places in your network, but below are some examples of problems that occur close to remote workers, which can cause the symptoms explained above.

1. Wifi
1. Wifi

Many things can affect the quality of your Wifi signal and it’s probably one of the most common problems that users experience when working from home (or trying to watch Netflix after work!)

Remote workforce wifi issues are common (sometimes even network outages and it’s not always easy to troubleshoot Wifi problems remotely. But Obkio makes it simple! By installing a Monitoring Agent on a remote workers’ workstation, Obkio can monitor wifi performance.

2. Cable Issues
2. Cable Issues

Many companies make their remote workers connect to the Internet using a cable instead of through wifi. This is usually a good idea to optimize Internet performance except for when the cable is faulty.

Cheap cables, cables that are too long or too old - have you ever used those? Well, many remote users are using them too, and they can cause a lot of problems for your network performance.

3. Local Network Congestion
3. Local Network Congestion

When someone or something, like a large application, monopolizes bandwidth in your network by downloading gigabytes worth of data, it creates congestion in your network. Network congestion caused by high bandwidth usage may cause problems like slow network speed or download speed over the Internet.

4. Local Loop Issues
4. Local Loop Issues

A network issue can be caused by the local loop used to reach the remote worker’s home network. In many cases, the local loop can be damaged, which can cause low signal issues such as packet errors or congestion in the area.

Traceroutes are a great tool to identify these issues and collect information to help you troubleshoot with your ISP! It's better to be well equipped with the data you need when you start playing ping-pong with your ISP.

Webinar: How to Locate and Troubleshoot Live Network Issues with Obkio
Webinar: How to Locate and Troubleshoot Live Network Issues with Obkio

Watch Obkio's on-demand webinar to learn how to find and troubleshoot live network issues using Obkio’s Network Monitoring app.

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Start Monitoring & Troubleshooting with Remote Employees
Start Monitoring & Troubleshooting with Remote Employees

To start helping your remote employees identify and troubleshoot network problems from home, deploy Obkio in minutes using Obkio’s Getting Started Tutorial, or Contact our Team to discuss your use case.

Check out our Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting for Remote Workers Case Study to see if your use case can relate.

Related Blog Categories:
How To
Network Troubleshooting