Experienced Issues With File Sharing While Working from Home

by | May 6, 2020

It’s no secret that as the rippling effects of the coronavirus have spread across the globe, the working environments of many have shifted dramatically. In today’s digital age, file sharing is a major part of everyday work. Those who are used to working in a traditional office with secure, wired networks now find themselves working from home where the internet connection is unreliable and the ease of collaboration is disrupted. Whether frequent timeouts, lack of compatibility with the recipient, restrictions on file size, or otherwise, file sharing has become a headache for many who are working remotely. The following are some common issues that employees have been experiencing while adapting to their work from home environment. 

File corruption

It can be a struggle to navigate the massive amount of data available at our fingertips. Kenny Trinh, CEO of NetBookNews shares his experience with remote work. The main problem he has experienced with sharing large files online is the files getting corrupted through the process. This leads to having to repeat the process, perhaps several times. Trinh found that when it comes to big files, leveraging Google Drive is a good solution. 

Large file transfers shouldn’t involve this hassle. 

Restrictions on file size

One main frustration when it comes to transferring large files is the restrictions on file size. Leonard Ang, Marketing Manager at AQVA expressed his struggles with sending large files via email. 

“There are many issues in transferring large files if you are working from home. One I have experienced is that sending an email with a large file attached in Yahoo mail would not go through since they have a limit on the size of the file you could send. What I did was to use my Gmail instead since this has a Google Drive which could accommodate large files.” 

This is more of a bandaid solution as many obstacles may follow this. 

Limited access

For many, file sharing is made way more complicated than it needs to be. Tim Absalikov, CEO of Lasting Trend expresses that there were always problems when transferring bulk files, even prior to COVID-19.

According to Zakirov, the exchange of such data should not occur through messenger or social networks. As an alternative, it’s best to archive the information you need prior to the transfer or use one of the many services that allow you to transfer files of any size. Zakirov recently had issues with Google Drive where the document file itself was uploaded, but access to it could not be shared.

It is best to use a file-sharing platform that is dedicated to fast and reliable transfers. 

Synchronization issues

While Dropbox is a very familiar file sharing platform, it isn’t always compatible with every device. 

Adam Hempenstall, CEO and Founder of Better Proposals recently struggled with this platform.

“The biggest issue we experienced with sharing large files while working remotely is Dropbox taking ages to upload something and it has issues with synchronization. If you use their app on several different devices, it can sometimes take ages to synchronize everything and we end up using Google Drive instead.”

Hempenstall found that Google Drive was better suited for work while Dropbox is better for personal use.

Poor internet speeds

Your home internet can be unreliable when it comes time to use it for more than surfing the web and scrolling through social media.

Osama Khabab, CEO and Founder of MotionCue has found it difficult to adapt to working from home. The biggest issue faced involved the distribution of information and data sharing across different locations.

“In general, at work, we have been used to using a local server that hosts most of our project data and source files which is essential being a video production agency. Considering the size of these files, it has been difficult to upload and download data because of the internet speed being not as good at home as compared to the workplace. Also, locally distributing data on a wired network is much faster rather than uploading and downloading through the cloud. To solve our problems, we’ve been data sharing through Dropbox and it has been of great value to us.”

What if you could make Dropbox even better?

Lack of education

File sharing should be simple to use and available to everyone. Ben Taylor, Founder of Home Working Club believes that the issue with sharing large files when working from home isn’t a result of home internet connections rather a lack of user education. The main knowledge gap being individuals trying to use email for files that are far too big for that medium. Taylor suggests many alternative services such as Dropbox, using iCloud Mail Drop on Apple devices, or making use of public services like WeTransfer. “The important thing is for employees to be aware of the limits of email and when to use a different method to share files.” 

There are many options out there to make your file transfers effortless, the key is just knowing where to look!

Failed uploads

According to Jennifer Walden, Director of Operations at WikiLawn, sometimes a good, stable internet connection and the means to share larger files such as G-Suite isn’t enough. The most common issue that Walden has faced involves timeouts. “The internet drops, the file upload fails, and I’m stuck having to upload it again.”

Walden found that a zip file can provide some relief, as you can greatly compress a raw file. While she doesn’t see it as a complete solution, it is a start for anyone struggling. 

As a more old school recommendation, Walden suggests if you need many files transferred and you have the means for it, put them on a flash drive (that you wipe down with disinfectant of course) and mail them to whoever needs them. If forgoing this option, it is crucial that you compress the file(s) first, make sure nothing else is taking up your bandwidth, and use a service that can handle large files, like Google Drive or Dropbox. 

Stalled uploads from timeouts

There is nothing more frustrating than a lagging connection that is stopping you from getting your work done. In agreeance is John Stevenson, Founder and CEO of Top VPN Canada who believes file sharing problems are one of the most common things remote teams encounter and are often a cause for disrupting productivity, such as stalled uploads from timeouts. This can often be a result of an employee that is working on a limited data subscription and therefore prone to data caps and fluctuating speeds. While a zip file may seem like a good solution, there is no guarantee that you won’t still experience these issues. Stevenson recommends switching to a lightweight browser that consumes less data.

It is more important now than ever before to make sure you are adequately set up to work from home, especially when your day-to-day job involves sharing large files across various platforms. While file sharing may feel like a daunting task, luckily it doesn’t have to be this difficult. At MASV, we offer the ultimate solution. No matter where you work, we enable fast and reliable file-sharing of any size. With our global accelerated network, you can say goodbye to connection crashes and fluctuating conditions. If you’re tired of your low-performance network, contact us today!