How to Stay Productive in the Office When the Internet Goes Down

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“The Internet is down” or 404 makes for a one-sentence horror story for a modern workplace. This is especially true since most businesses rely on the Web not just for research purposes, but also for communicating with clients.

When the internet is down, a modern business can be thrown into chaos, but only if you let it. Most modern companies should have contingency plans in place that allow their business to operate as normally as possible even without the internet. Sure, certain aspects of your company might suffer, but that doesn’t mean the entire organization has to go down.

Aside from the most obvious solution of calling your IT department for help, here are some other suggestions to stay on top of your game at the office even without the Internet:

Don’t Panic

First, take deep, soothing breaths to keep yourself calm. Remember that the Internet is only down, but you could still keep your workday as productive as possible. While there might be some difficulties (considering how dependent on the Internet most workplaces are), you could still accomplish other things in the midst of this challenging time. Regroup and focus on other important tasks. For managers, this is a good opportunity to implement (if you have it) an offline contingency plan. If you don’t have one, then take this as an opportunity to figure out ways to streamline business operations when the internet is down.

In today’s business space, the internet is indispensable: it’s how we communicate with clients, collaborate on projects, and everything else in between. However, some of the minutiae of the business process is still done offline and person-to-person; when the internet is down, it’s not the end of the world (but it is a pretty big inconvenience!).

Call Your IT Department Immediately (But Don’t Expect an Immediate Fix)

Inform your IT department of this problem as soon as possible so that they could take the necessary steps to get you back on the Net. After this step, try to resist the urge to badger them even if you feel anxious regarding your backlogs for the day. Just like you, they must also be trying their best to cope with the situation, and harassing them would certainly not get the job done.

But remember: your IT department aren’t wizards; they can’t just magically fix every single computer problem that comes up at the snap of your fingers. In fact, the role of IT in most companies can actually be very specific, and fixing your connection when the internet is down might not even be part of their job description. Clear it up with management first before you go storming down to the server room and start barking orders at your IT folk.

Give them time to figure things out, and if it’s a problem with your Internet Service Provider, don’t blame your IT people! Instead, try to figure out what IT infrastructure upgrades your business might need after the internet is restored.

Do Other Tasks in Your To-Do List

Don’t let the Internet downtime take away with it your productivity the way it did with your ability to send and receive emails. You might not notice it on a daily basis, but there are still plenty of tasks in your to-do list that could be accomplished even without the help of this seemingly omnipresent technology. Aside from these, you could also take this time to finally organize the stuff in your work area, such as tangled cables, paper clips that seem to be practically everywhere, plenty of papers, etc. Don’t worry; if you have a stellar IT department, they probably have a system in place that creates backup files of websites that will let you continue working.

Most of the time when the internet is down, it’s usually only unavailable for a couple of hours. Again, if your current tasks aren’t bound by the internet (say, you’re currently working on a database report or writing an article), this shouldn’t be that big of a deal: just wait it out until connection is restored. This is also a good opportunity to re-organize your to-do list and focus on offline tasks. Think of it as a challenge of your organizational skills and thinking on your feet!

Correspond the Old-Fashioned Way

Talking with the team personally rather than through the internet

When the Internet goes down, it becomes particularly troubling for businesses, especially if they rely on it to connect to their network, communicate with customers and employees, and perform other day-to-day tasks. In this case, employees could try to make the best use of the situation by communicating with their colleagues the old-fashioned way: getting out of their cubicles and going to the person involved directly.

This could be the chance for your organization to discover the “lost art” of talking to your co-workers. You could also view this as an opportunity to get up from your chair, stretch for a bit, and take a stroll around the office. This is also a good time to try and get to know your team better: if everyone’s current tasks are dependent on the internet, when the internet is down, use it to get to know each other better.

Remember that an individual can accomplish a lot, but a team can accomplish even more. Coordinate with your team leader or manager and have a sit-down with members of your team and do some old-fashioned team building exercises. Who knows, this might even a great opportunity to fix office conflicts in a professional and civilized manner. You’d be surprised at how little you might know about the people you work with and how much you might have in common with them!

When the Internet is Down, Keep Productivity Up

If you really need to use the Internet, especially to contact external clients, there are still plenty of old-school solutions available for you, including going to a café for their Wi-Fi connection or tethering your phone’s Internet to your computer.

When all else fails, enjoy this chance and take a break. An Internet outage could cause plenty of problems for an organization. However, it could also present opportunities for employees to reassess their priorities, accomplish other essential tasks, and even take the chance to chat with their colleagues and maybe even take a short break.

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