Remote Webinar vs WiFi Outages: A #WFH Reality

I was recently collaborating with the NetBeez team on a #WFH webinar only to find a service provider update impacting services. What a hassle. No warning. No advisory on any channels we pay to watch. That real estate is reserved for paid advertising or promoting (ironically) new premium service bundles.

It was an urgent work issue so I called in only to be placed in the “covid update” queue and then the “cycle your power” loop. It would take under ten minutes to re-establish service, according to the recorded voice. 

I unplugged the modem, waited a few minutes, then plugged it back in. I did the same with my PC. Still no service

Time to call back in and get a new round of recorded messages. Maybe it will be the “let’s reset” queue. Then I’ll have a shot at waiting ten minutes (or longer) to talk to someone.

So I turned on my back up smart phone hotspot. It wasn’t great but at least I could tell my teammates what happened. Afterwards I came across this: The 4 Levels of Internet Outage Hell for Remote Workers.

WFH OutagesOf course it resonated with me. Then I started to wonder if almost all remote workers are experiencing the same thing.  We could call it #IOH for short. A recent survey found the Shift to remote work caught 72% of businesses technologically unprepared.

Why is there #IOH (Internet Outage Hell)?  At least partly because we’ve been spoiled by highly-skilled network engineering teams deployed to address problems ASAP. If there are planned outages they’re usually on weekends and everyone is told weeks ahead of time. And there is rarely a recorded voice telling you to reboot your computer, etc first before being assigned into another automated queue. 

This tweet is a sign of at least some frustration with traditional IT:

When you call the service provider you probably do not have a clue what the problem is.  (I was foolish enough to try the cached speed test page!) 

That brings me to the next level of the problem: the challenges #WFH poses for your network engineering team. With #WFH the pros who are armed with tools to track switch/router issues may not have ANY idea why you cannot access the internet or a cloud server. They may not even be able to replicate your experience or discover an intermittent issue. It might not even be your service provider.

See, for example, an early remote worker hell courtesy of one of tech’s most respected companies:

So here we are, remote workers, even more remote than we ever expected. Now if we can get through the summer without our power company cutting our power and avoid losing connectivity at the worst time possible, during a #WFH webinar! Want to find out more about the network monitoring challenges for remote workers? View our short #WFH Webinar below!