Not so long ago, it would have been ridiculous to ask an employer to give you free TV, free movies, free music, and a free TV camera and crew at your house in case you wanted to work from home and conduct a meeting with coworkers. Yet, with the internet, all of these things and more are at the fingertips of most office employees and their remote or hybrid counterparts. Naturally, a growing number of employees will use some or all of these services for personal use while at work.
Many employees use much more bandwidth than pre-pandemic to do their jobs. As a business owner, what can you do about it? Bandwidth is a necessary expense you need to keep your business running; but unlike all the others, the amount of bandwidth you truly need varies based on the workload and personal use that you allow. So, what usage takes the most bandwidth? Let’s take a look.
Does your company upload or store video content on a daily basis? Many companies do these days, especially for Marketing and training purposes. Since just about everything online is HD quality, you can see that streaming and storing video content are usually the greatest use of bandwidth in your office.
Everything that is available to your employees through their internet connection is available through Wi-Fi. The extra strains Wi-Fi puts on bandwidth are caused by the users who connect their phones to Wi-Fi so they can save on their personal data plan. Just being connected puts a small drain on your Wi-Fi, but all the rest can slow your network down to a bit.
Using the Cloud adds a lot of flexibility to your business. The scalability allows you to tailor your bandwidth needs as your company’s needs grow or shrink, but the amount of bandwidth usage varies as more and more files and programs are shared through the Cloud. With subscription-based software programs becoming the norm, there’s data floating in and out of your employee’s workstations all day.
Whether you’re working from home, meeting with clients, or even interviewing potential new employees, videoconferencing is definitely a tool that makes good business sense. Many business trips have been replaced by video conferencing, and that’s good for your budget; but now you’re sending that information through your internet connection, and that needs to be factored in your bandwidth needs. The good news is that video conferencing costs a lot less than travel, so spending a little more on bandwidth is probably the most cost-effective way to meet with people one on one.
Bandwidth and Morale
As you can see there are many ways your bandwidth is being used throughout the day, and it can impact your business in a variety of ways. For example, just a few years ago it was taboo for employees to spend time watching videos on YouTube or looking at pictures of their nephew’s graduation on Facebook. Today, it is generally accepted that employees will spend some time doing these things.
As a business owner, you can place limits or controls on these habits, but these actions may cost you in other ways. Employee morale is linked to online habits, and if employees can’t look at their social media for a few minutes between their tasks, they’ll probably take more breaks than they used to so they can wish their friends a happy birthday.
It’s a challenge to find a balance between the bandwidth your business needs and the bandwidth your employees need. As the one who writes the checks, it may not seem fair that you’re funding someone else’s online habits, but in today’s business arena it’s the price of doing business. In the next blogs, we’ll show you how to rein in usage all while maintaining positive company culture and avoiding mutiny.
Have questions about how to improve your bandwidth? Contact us today!