UPS: Powerful Insurance for Remote Workers

If you detest commuting and work well from a home office, there’s good news: Remote work is here to stay. Forbes magazine recently spotlighted a new study by data science company Ladders that projects 25 percent of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of this year. The study also predicts remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.

While working from a home office has its obvious benefits, it has drawbacks too. Chief among them may be the loss of the knowledgeable “tech guy” who shows up at your cubicle with a quick fix when there’s trouble with your computer or office-related electronics. At the home office, you’re on your own.

If your remote work relies on a computer for productivity and communication, one important thing you’ll want to acquire is a UPS — uninterruptible power supply, that is. It can save your bacon if the lights go out.

Prepare for outages
Even though Walton EMC consistently delivers 99 percent reliability, power outages can and do occur. And they always seem to come at just the moment when they can wreak the most havoc, especially for data stored on a computer.

Data loss and corruption can be a consequence of an unexpected power disruption. Investing in a UPS can buy you extra time to shut down a computer properly, preserving your equipment and work.

What is a UPS?
It is a backup device that provides near-instantaneous emergency power to connected devices. It provides protection against a loss of power or a momentary surge that can ruin these valuable electronics or corrupt irreplaceable data.

How does it work?
A UPS acts as a backup battery between your electronic devices and the main power. When it detects a power outage or unusual fluctuations in voltage, it kicks into action.

What are its key benefits?
In a home office, a UPS is typically used to safeguard computers, peripherals, modems, routers and telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment. In the event of a power outage, it keeps power flowing to all connected devices, allowing sufficient time to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment.

A UPS also doubles as a surge protector, protecting against sudden drops and spikes in voltage that can damage delicate electronic circuitry. Lightning storms are one example of when a potentially damaging power surge could occur. Voltage spikes may also result from a malfunction along the electrical grid.

How long can it power my equipment?
Although battery life varies by UPS unit, you’ll want to avoid continuing work for more than 10 to 15 minutes. A UPS gives you time to save your work and correctly shut down your computer without suffering data loss or hardware damage. Some UPS models can also keep your internet access up and running for hours.

Correctly sizing your UPS solution is key to getting adequate time to react in the event of an outage. Use one of these calculation/selection tools offered by three popular UPS unit manufacturers to determine what you’ll need:

APC UPS Selector
CyberPower UPS Selector
Tripp Lite UPS Sizing

Can a UPS replace a generator during an extended outage?
A UPS is not meant to supply power to your devices for long enough to keep operating throughout a lengthy outage. If you need to power a home office or business location for a longer period, consider installing a backup generator. Learn more about Walton EMC’s standby generator program.

What kind of UPS do I need for a home office?
A standby UPS is what the average home office will require. This system allows equipment to run off utility power until the UPS detects a problem, at which point it switches to battery power. Standby models are designed for entry-level computers as well as consumer electronics and home security systems.

If you’re in the market for a UPS unit, take a look at this Lifewire article  that rates some of the best on the market this year.

How much should I expect to pay?
A highly rated UPS system appropriate for home office use sells for about $85 to $300 in a local computer or office supply store. That’s a fraction of the value of the equipment, data and productivity it protects. Just as important, it provides peace of mind for those who rely on electronics to work remotely.

Do I need a pro installation?
UPS units meant for protection of home office equipment don’t require the services of a professional installer. You simply plug the UPS into the wall outlet, plug your equipment into the UPS outlets and turn on the device.

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