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The Problem Working at Home? 28% Have Connection Issues

As more Americans work at home, a survey finds that 49% would like to do so permanently – but 12.5% have cellphone problems and 16% have Wi-Fi issues.

NEW YORK – A strong internet connection is more important than ever as more people work remotely – but a new report finds that 28% of Americans are having issues with either cell or internet connectivity, at a time when more than 10 million U.S. employees are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not surprising, then, that 33% of newly remote employees report they are getting less done at home, according to the survey of 1,000 consumers from Waveform, a cell phone signal booster firm. On the flip side, about a quarter of remote workers say they’re getting more done by working from home.

Nearly 16% of Americans reportedly are having issues with internet connectivity on a daily basis, and 12.5% report experiencing a poor or very poor cell signal reception in their home.

Regardless of any connectivity woes, 60% of Americans new to remote working say they prefer working from home and nearly 49% wish they could do so permanently.

How to strengthen a signal

For a stronger Wi-Fi signal, make sure there are few obstructions between the router and the device. Wi-Fi signals can be partially absorbed or even completely blocked by walls, duct work, furniture, home appliances and people, according to NetSpot, a site for Wi-Fi troubleshooting. Also, eliminate bandwidth hogs, like video chatting or streaming on multiple devices if a connection seems slow.

Another big culprit slowing connections: More people at home. In this case, a router may need to be upgraded.

For weak cellphone signals, check the following:

  • Make sure your cell phone battery isn’t low.
  • Make sure you’re holding the phone so that the antenna isn’t blocked. Hold the phone in an upright position and, if a bad signal persists, try to hold it from the bottom using the tips of your fingers.
  • Toggle airplane mode. On an iPhone with no service, for example, go to Settings -> General -> Airplane Mode. Turn airplane mode on, wait for 5 seconds and turn it off again, to see if cell phone service reconnects to a closer cell tower.
  • When in doubt, restart your phone.

Source: “Millions of Americans Are Working From Home With Unreliable Cell Signal and Internet,” (April 2020)

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