Having a home office is a common choice for many business owners, with around 52 percent of small businesses operating primarily from someone’s home. Having a home office allows for a multitude of benefits, including tax deductions, increased value of your home, and the ability to work on your own schedule.
Despite all these benefits, an often overlooked issue with home offices is the increased potential for tech problems to occur. In our digital world, having technical elements, such as computers and Wi-Fi, is now essential to operating a business. But when inevitable problems arise, not all small-business owners have the budget to pay for dedicated tech support. To give you a leg up on troubleshooting, here’s our list of five common home office tech problems and how to fix them.
Problem #1: Your computer keeps restarting, and everything you’ve been working on gets lost in the process.
Solution: First, run an antivirus scan to make sure your computer hasn’t been affected by a virus or malware. If that does not solve the problem, try freeing up some space by deleting unnecessary files and moving non-essential data to an external hard drive — your computer may be overloaded and many computers will shut down if a certain component is overheating.
Problem #2: Your printer was working fine for months but now refuses to print, and it’s imperative you print out and sign a contract before the end of the day.
Solution: Have you made sure that your printer has enough paper and ink? If not, check to verify that’s not the problem — you’d be surprised to know how common an issue it is. If that doesn’t fix the situation, try turning your printer off and then on again. This quick reset works more often than not.
Source: Accounting Team
Problem #3: You paid for fast and reliable business Internet, but recently it’s been so slow that all you’ve been able to do is load Google.
Solution: The first step you should take is to run a speed test to find out what your download and upload speeds are. Your actual speeds should ideally be close to the speed which your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has advertised with your plan. If your speeds are lower than what you’ve ordered, make sure you haven’t gone over your data cap. If the problem persists, it may be time to switch to a new ISP.
Alternatively, the problem could lie with your router, and the solution might be as simple as moving the device to a better location. According to Internet Service Partners, routers need to be in an elevated place near the center of your house, free from anything that may block the Wi-Fi signal.
Problem #4: The wireless mouse that comes with your Mac has stopped working, which has made it next to impossible to do business.
Solution: Topher Kessler, CNET’s MacFixIt Editor, recommends several methods to solve this. The most reliable solution is to restart your computer, which you can do by pressing the Control key and power button simultaneously. When the menu pops up, select the “Restart” option by using the tab and space keys.
Problem #5: You’re facing the strange situation of being able to receive emails but not being able to send any. Because you are usually an extremely responsive person, your clients are wondering what has happened to you.
Solution: Oftentimes emails get stuck in your outbox or fail to send properly because your Internet connection has been interrupted. If you are using Outlook, you can fix this by resetting your Internet at the modem and then going to your outbox to resend any emails that got stuck. In the event that doesn’t work, try logging out and back into your email account, and then verify that everything is properly configured.
While the occasional tech problem will occur, remember that the solution is often simpler than you might think. Try our solutions to these five common home office tech problems first before calling for support.