How to avoid server overload when your team is working from home
Working from home and facing some server strain? You're not alone. Here's how to reduce the chances of your server giving up on you, in a few easy tips.
Published: 16 Apr 2020
5 minutes read
Imagine this, you’re sitting at your desk with your morning coffee, getting ready to get started on a hard day's work. Suddenly, a colleague sends a company wide email with an urgent task for everyone. You log in to your system to do it but you can’t because the server has crashed. Everyone has tried to log in at once. It’s a disaster.
This situation is one that will feel all too familiar for many workers right now, with most businesses working from home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses need to find a solution to server overload issues to avoid excessive downtime and a potential loss of business.
Luckily, this situation is avoidable. There are a number of ways that you can help reduce server overload when your team is working from home. Let’s dive in.
Communicate to organise work times
In a difficult time when everyone is separated and face-to-face meetings seem like a distant memory, communication is more vital than ever. When you’re working from home, it can be all too easy to get stuck in your own work and forget to communicate with your colleagues what exactly you’re doing. This can lead to multiple people trying to do the same task at the same time and put stress on the server.
Where possible, arrange a system of communication amongst your team to tell each other when each system is going to be accessed and by who. This can be via email, or more conveniently through a team instant messaging service such as Slack. This keeps your team in the loop, and has the added benefit of staying social, even when working from home.
Avoid unnecessary use of your server
We know that working from home can limit what you’re able to do, so you’re going to want to do as much as possible of what you can. But it’s important not to go overboard and overuse your systems. Using your server when it’s not important to do so can put unnecessary stress on the system and risk taking it down for everyone. You don’t want to be responsible for that!
That’s why to prevent server overload everyone in your business should try and be as efficient and considerate as possible when choosing to use the server. Essentially, ask yourself; is the work you’re doing possible to do offline? If the answer is yes, then try!
Don’t all access the same place at the same time!
One of the main causes of server overload is many people trying to access the server at once. If your server isn’t equipped to handle large numbers of user requests at once, it can either slow down or stop functioning temporarily.
Often the most simple solution to this is to try and space out similar tasks between people where possible. If multiple people need to use the same server or resource, try to make sure that they’re doing it at different times. Unfortunately, sometimes this is unavoidable as businesses may require workers to log in to the same place at the same time, for example during team meetings or presentations. This is why the issue of server overload is best tackled at the source - the software itself.
Choose a good VPN
To enable working from home, many businesses choose to allow their employees remote access to work data using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). However, as many businesses see this as an additional cost, they understandably want to save as much money as possible when purchasing a VPN. This often leads to employees working through VPNs that aren’t fully secure, or that don’t have the capacity to handle the amount of people accessing it at once, leading to network slowdown and server crashes.
If you’re going to work remotely using a VPN, you need to make sure you invest in one that can handle heavy use from everyone in your business. Your VPN also needs to be secure enough to safety handle any sensitive client data you might be working with. There are a number of high-quality VPNs on the market that are designed to securely handle heavy use from many users at once.
Before selecting a VPN, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many people will likely need to use it at the same time?
- Where are these users based?
- How sensitive is the data being handled?
- How secure are your current systems?
- Who in your business needs priority access?
The answers to these questions will be very useful in determining which the right VPN for your business is. Popular VPNs for businesses include NordVPN, Perimeter 81, and Hotspot Shield, though there are many VPNs on the market. Just make sure to choose the one that’s suited to your business’s needs.
However, VPNs might not be the way to go for your business, as investing in a VPN plan that can handle heavy use from potentially every employee in your business securely and reliably can be costly. Often the best option is for businesses to instead invest in a cloud-based system.
Move to a cloud-based CRM
One of the main reasons businesses are suffering from server overload right now is because the systems they have in place aren't suitable for the current situation. Rather than sticking it out, the best option is often to switch to a better system that’s more suited to your unique business needs.
This is why cloud-based systems are ideal. As these systems operate online, there is no physical server to get overloaded. This means these systems are a lot more reliable! In addition, as cloud based systems are modular, you can effectively pick and choose which parts you need and use them in combination with what you already have in place, rather than have to completely overhaul your current system. On top of being modular, cloud-based systems are scalable, which gives them a huge advantage over on-site CRMs, as they can be updated to improve and adapt to users’ needs over time.
In short, a cloud-based system is much more suited to the modern workplace, eliminating the risks that can come from using an on-site server for remote working. You can learn more about cloud-based systems and their benefits in our detailed ebook.