It is natural for us to be drawn to the oh so beautiful ‘work-from-home option. We can’t help envy the people who don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. to make breakfast, pack the kids’ lunch, wake them up and get them ready for school before dashing for a quick shower and then rushing out the door with a travel mug of coffee and a foil-wrapped sandwich to eat on the way.
Being able to work on your own time and from wherever you want, seems like a far-fetched idea for many of us. Although, the number of people making this possible is increasing by the day. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely want to be among the people who aren’t haunted every night by the thought of waking up to the sound of an alarm.
Although, all this talk about working from home got me thinking about one thing in particular. What if there is a power outage or the internet connection is having problems? Normally, when you’re working at a company’s office, you don’t have to worry about this because power and the internet are their problems. They need to make sure there’s a backup source of power and if the internet gives up, you could spend the whole day sitting around without a care.
That isn’t the case when you’re working from home. The moment you sign an agreement to work remotely for a company, you’re basically taking all such responsibilities on your head. A power or internet outage is inevitable and usually simultaneous, so it is best to have a backup plan in place.
Below are a few tips to help you plan ahead and be prepared:
1. Research Internet Providers
Internet is fundamental to working from home. So, you’ll need to make sure you sign up with the best available provider in your area. Ask for recommendations, run a Google search for “internet in my area”, check company websites of the providers that pop up in the results, call their hotlines in case of confusion to ask as many questions as you want. Ensure that you’re sure of what you’re getting for your money. Ask your prospective internet provider if they have an outage guarantee and how do they compensate customers in the event of an outage.
2. Keep Devices Charged
Most of the time your electricity company will announce a power outage, telling you the reason and duration. Sometimes though, due to an unanticipated reason, you might lose power unannounced. Usually, these are the times it could take hours or in some unfortunate circumstances even days before the company is able to locate and fix the problem. It is best practice to always keep your devices fully charged and all documents that you need for work downloaded on your computer.
3. Free Wi-Fi Hotspots
With the world more virtually connected than ever and everyone online for most of the day, free Wi-Fi has become an amenity usually offered at coffee shops and restaurants. In fact, many internet providers in the U.S. also provide lots of free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. Locate these Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as coffee shops or restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi that you could park yourself at to work in case of an outage or maybe just to get out of the house for a change.
4. Mobile Broadband / Cellphone Data
Mobile broadband is basically a modem that looks like a USB stick and plugs into your laptop. Cell phone companies provide monthly as well as pay-as-you-go mobile broadband plans. A pay-as-you-go plan would make a lot more sense if you’re going to use mobile broadband in case of emergencies only. Another option could be using your cell phone data. You can either work on your phone if that’s comfortable for you or turn it into a hotspot and connect your computer to it.
5. Car Charger
Car chargers are lifesavers for people working on the go and of course for people facing a power outage. Get a charger with multiple USB ports so you can have multiple devices running simultaneously, no matter how long the outage.
There you go, five easy tips to ensure that you don’t face an unfortunate internet or power outage running around cursing the whole world because you can’t go online and get your work done before the deadline.