WORKPLACE / JAN. 26, 2015
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How to Stay Productive Without Internet Access

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In today’s workplace environment, most businesses rely on the internet for the majority of the day. A full day without internet access can be extremely damaging to certain businesses like banks, investment firms and stores. However, a temporary internet outage does not have to be the end of the world for your business or your day at work. There are several ways that you can stay productive in the workplace when you are experiencing a temporary internet outage.

1. Don’t Give Into “Internet Outage Rage”

We rely so heavily on the internet for our daily tasks at work and in so many aspects of our personal lives. So when there is an outage, it can drive some people temporarily “insane”. Well, maybe not insane, but clearly on edge and in withdrawal. So the first step is to stay calm and make a decision to create lemonade from lemons. There is not much that you can do when you are experiencing an internet outage, so then turn your focus to some things that you can accomplish. It begins with keeping your sanity intact.

2. Handle Offline Correspondence

Of course, with the internet down, you cannot receive new emails. However, you can access emails with some email services. For example, if you use Gmail, you can access your emails offline through the Google Chrome web browser. With an internet outage, this is the perfect time to catch up on responding to emails and scheduling them to be sent out when you are back online.

3. Schedule an Impromptu Brainstorm Meeting

Another great idea is to schedule an impromptu brainstorming session—with your staff, colleagues, team members or even with yourself. So many times, we are too busy to actually have personal contact and talk to each other in the workplace. What better way to occupy your time during a temporary internet outage than to meet with others to brainstorm. You may want to take the time to refocus your staff on the company goals and vision. Rather than leaving everyone to their own devices and possibly wasting time during the outage, schedule a meeting to brainstorm new ideas or ways to enhance current business practices.

4. De-clutter Your Workspace

Most people are extremely busy completing work tasks each day, so they don’t have the time to de-clutter. However, de-cluttering your workspace at least once or twice a month can help to increase your productivity level. A temporary internet outage is an opportune time to do something valuable at work and clean your desk. In addition to cleaning your desk, you can then focus on clearing out your desktop and reorganising your folders to make your daily workload easier to complete.

5. Decompress, Refocus & Relax

In addition to the steps already mentioned, an internet outage is also a great time to decompress, refocus and relax. Most people are not permitted to take multiple breaks during the day. That would impede on the progress of completing your daily tasks. Break time is counterintuitive in the workplace. However, when the internet goes down, and your tasks are limited without it, take the time to relax and refocus your mind. I am a firm believer that taking daily breaks in the workplace will increase your productivity. This is not the time to read that novel you’ve been saving on your Kindle or iPad. However, it is an opportune time to read some of those work documents or reports that you have been too busy to review.

6. Handle “Back-burner” Tasks

During the busy work day, we don’t always have time to complete every task on our to-do list. Priority tasks are completed first and others, which are not as important, get placed on the back-burner. Of course, you could take your laptop to a local coffee house to work during an outage. However, not every employee in the corporate or conventional office setting can leave their workstation. During this time, it is a perfect opportunity to handle those “back-burner” tasks that don’t need internet access.

7. Get Back to Personal Contact

Many times our preferred form of contact in the workplace and life in general, is emailing or texting. When you are experiencing a temporary internet outage, take the time to get back to personal contact. Check your voicemail messages and return phone calls. Of course, if your office phone system is based on VoIP, you won’t have access to it. However, you can also utilise the time wisely to simply get in contact with your clients or to touch base with customers. It can be viewed as an opportune time to go the extra mile with regard to customer service.

Of course, there will be some exceptions to this rule with various businesses that cannot function at all without the internet. However, most individuals, employees and business owners can utilise several or all of the steps listed in this article to remain productive during this downtime.

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