Advice for Families Working and Going to School Remotely

As remote work and online education have become the new norm to help maintain safe social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, families have found creative ways to confront the challenges associated with it. Even though some states have opened up to allow more in-person commuting to the office or school, the most recent statistics from Pew Research Center show that 71% of workers are still doing their job from home all or most of the time. Added to that, more than half say that if they were given the opportunity to continue to work from home after the pandemic, they would do so. 

What's a Good Internet Speed for Remote Work/School? 

Obviously, technology plays an important role in the work-from-home and online school trend. While 2020 saw many families struggling to adapt to the new dependence on technology for their daily assignments and tasks, according to one study published by the International Journal of Information Management, internet services have seen rises in usage from 40% to 100% compared to how they were used during pre-lockdown levels. Additionally, video-conferencing services such as Zoom have seen a ten times increase in usage, making them one of the most-used software platforms available today. 

In order to accommodate this increase in internet and video-conferencing services, one of the most common questions families have is: "What is a good internet speed?" The answer to this question lies in the number of people in the household who will be using the internet for their daily tasks and assignments, including which types of services they use (video conferencing, streaming, etc.).

What Speed Do I Need for Zoom?

Zoom states its bandwidth requirements here. Keep in mind that when referencing "bandwidth," this is referring to the maximum rate that the data will be transferred across a network. It's also important to understand that when you buy an internet package from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), the bandwidth offered is generally a maximum bandwidth, meaning that that data might not always be transferred at that rate. Again, the factors that will contribute to the bandwidth offered for your device at any given moment depend on who else is using the network and which programs are being used. 

Get Creative in the Work-from-Home Environment

Even with the best technology and bandwidth, working from home while your children are attending online school from home can be tricky for any family to juggle. That's why it's important to keep open communication with your employer, co-workers, and your children's teachers. From taking individual and family breaks to making creative signs that can offer non-verbal cues when it's okay to be interrupted, there are many ways to make the most of the situation through honest communication and boundary setting. 

An example of this type of communication with your co-workers and employer might be something like this, published on 

As I transition to working from home, I wanted to share that I am also responsible for my three kids, who I will be homeschooling for the time being due to school closures. I am creating a schedule that I will share with you so that you're aware of when I will be available or unavailable for calls or collaboration. I am absolutely committed to maintaining the level of excellence you expect and will remain in close communication with you so you're clear on how I'm meeting our goals. I appreciate your support and look forward to navigating this together.” (Melody Godfred, Muse Career Coach). 

We're all in this together, though the day-to-day details may look different for each of us. Give yourself grace, and good luck! 

Post a Comment