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Best Practices when Working From Home

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Computer and Setup

Ensure your computer meets these prerequisites:

  • Browser - Google Chrome as a default browser (latest version).
  • OS - Windows 10 / OSX 10.14 / Linux 64bit (Debian 9 or Red Hat 8 based distros) / ChromeOS.
  • RAM - Recommended minimum of 8 GB RAM.
  • CPU - Recommended minimum of Intel i5 / AMD Ryzen 5.

Wired Headset

Talkdesk recommends the following:

  • We recommend the usage of a 3.5mm jack (analog) type port.
  • USB type headset usage is fine but note that this will use computer resources.
  • If you use Windows OS, follow the recommended settings for Callbar.
  • We do not recommend using a wireless type headset for professional long-term usage for the following reasons:
    • The battery level is a factor, a decreased battery decreases the range.
    • Wireless headsets suffer from interference from other wireless devices in the area.
    • Bad reception or increased latency is common, which could falsely point to a network issue.

Full headset recommendations can be found found here.

Network

Reserve enough bandwidth

  • 1Mbps symmetrical connection per device is the rule of thumb.
  • Avoid other people using/sharing your bandwidth while you are on call, such as:
    • Streaming multimedia content (4K/HD/Full HD Movies).
    • Online gaming.
    • Downloading large content (e.g., torrents).
  • Disable recordings on any DVR / Set-up-Boxes, these can consume bandwidth.

Connection Best Practices

  • Connect via Ethernet (> Cat-5E) Cable.
  • Avoid using VPN. If you do need to use a VPN, split-tunneling must be configured in order to ensure that all Callbar's traffic is routed directly to the internet instead of through the VPN.
  • Set the following DNS servers (if possible):
    • Primary DNS - 8.8.8.8
    • Secondary DNS - 1.1.1.1

If you can't use ethernet

  • If your computer doesn't have an ethernet port, you can buy a USB Ethernet adaptor.
  • If you don’t have an Ethernet cable long enough or in the same room as your router/switch, a powerline (PLC) adaptor is an option. They will:
    • Use the electric sockets in your house to allow you to communicate from room to room.
    • Suffer less from interference and they send and receive traffic at the same time (Full-Duplex).
    • Only be used for your purpose, not like aerial medium used by Wi-Fi and shared with any other potentially connected devices.

More information on alternatives to WiFi can be found here.

Using WiFi as a last resort

While Wi-Fi offers convenience, it can lack reliability for voice communications as it’s influenced by many factors:

  • It does not send and receive traffic at the same time (Half-Duplex) which can affect the jitter, making the voice seem robotic and at times it can increase latency.
  • Some Access Point (AP) versions are only able to connect to 1 device in the network at a time (if you use more devices you will have more latency).
  • It’s a shared medium, the common 2.4 Ghz band is used by many other home devices and can frequently suffer from signal interferences.

If you are still waiting for an ethernet or PLC adaptor and you still need to use Wi-Fi, please follow these guidelines:

  • Use the 5 Ghz band, as opposed to the 2.4 Ghz, this will reduce the range but decrease the probability of environmental interference.
  • Connect as few devices as possible, to the same AP, to better concentrate and serve your own.
  • Upgrade to a mesh type AP network. It allows reachability from several points in the home and repeats the traffic between the cells. This way the packets are not lost if a specific area is affected.

More information on WiFi usage can be found here.

 

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