There is no quicker way to realise how much you rely on your internet connection when it suddenly drops off. You get the dreaded and hated “Internet Explorer can not display this page” and your email say it’s trying to connect.
Here are some tips and ideas on what to do when this happens so that you don’t go completely insane. At the same time, it may be a good idea to look at building in some Internet redundancy by having a second Internet connection. With a phone line around £15 per month and a broadband connection around £20, it is a very small price to pay per month verses the amount of money you probably lose per hour when your staff can’t work. Contact us here for more info – http://www.colins-it.co.uk/contact.html
However, while you are down, here are 9 ways to stay productive. If you have a power outage to boot then some of these may not be relevant.
1: Use Windows offline folders or on-line briefcase
It is always very useful when travelling, having a copy of all the data you require on your laptop. Same concept apply if the server goes down, each computer has a copy of the data that synchronises around the office and into the cloud whenever a file is added or updated. This starts from only £10 per month for 512GB of data. You can also take advantage of the Windows offline files feature. It allows you to mark folders on network drives as available for offline use. The contents of the folders are then cached to the laptop’s hard drive. This way, you can always access your files, regardless of whether you’re connected to the network. When you do connect, the changes are synchronised.
2: Find another way to get online
If you’re at home or at the office and the Internet goes down, the most sensible solution might be to find another connection. Probably won’t work for a big office but either use your mobile phone, a 3G dongle or head off to Starbucks or similar coffee shop with Wi-Fi internet access.
3: Print what you’ll need
If you have a big report to go through and you are having issues with connecting to the network or will have issues with power on your laptop, then print it out and work on it manually. Sometimes going back to paper can be productive if you are facing computer problems at that specific point in time.
4: Answer emails
With no internet, it is a great time catch up on all those emails you have not answered yet. Microsoft Outlook caches Exchange Server mailboxes in an .OST file. This means that Outlook can display your email messages, contacts, tasks, and calendar, even if it can’t connect to Exchange. This caching makes it possible to reply to email messages even without Internet connectivity. Your replies will be sent once a connection to the mail server can be re-established.
If you have email on your phone then you can often keep going by reading and replying to emails on there or your iPad etc until you are fully operational again. Works very well when you are out the office.
5: Take care of other neglected tasks
If the Internet is going to be down for a hopefully short time period that doesn’t involve heading over to Costa / Starbucks then do those tasks you have been meaning to get round to doing but never seem to have a chance. For example, clean your desk or work on your latest travel expense report. Renew your tax disc or actually put tax disc in the car!!
6: Take the Internet offline with you
If you need to do a lot of research while travelling then you can download various websites that you need to look through / read by using a feature in Internet Explorer that makes Web page contents available offline. Simply cache the pages you need before heading out the door.
7: Give your brain a break
The idea of taking a brain break probably seems really out of place, especially since this article is all about staying productive when no Internet service is available. Taking a short break often improves productivity. And what better time to take a break than when your ISP is having an outage? Just put your swimming costume on and head out the door. Just be careful if it’s winter or if you’re living in the UK!!
8: Have a brain storm staff meeting
If you work in an office environment and your Internet service goes offline, one way to remain productive is to have an brain storm staff meeting. The outage may give you time to go through outstanding issues, catch up on the status of various projects, and discuss issues that might ordinarily have been neglected.
9: Return phone calls
Most people have a string of phone calls to make that they put off. If you have a VOIP system you are stuffed although you probably have a mobile phone. Now would be a great time to make those calls while there is no facebook on your office PC to distract you.