Five Things to Do in the Office When the Internet Goes Down

When internet service goes down these days, it can feel like the world has come to a grinding halt.  In a way, it has. If your internet goes down in the office, it might be time to close your eyes and remember what work used to be like before the Internet.  Desks were cleaner, you actually knew the name of the guy sitting in the cubicle next to yours and solitaire was a game that required a deck of cards and could only be played during lunch.

If you find yourself in the black hole of internet service failure, here is a list of 5 things you can to do to bide your time until your internet superhero comes to save the day:

  1. Clean Your Desk. Can you see your desk these days? Is it drowning in post it notes? It might be a relief to keep your eye off your email inbox and allow yourself some solid organization time. When the internet is down, the distractions decrease significantly. Use this focused time and bring organization back into your life. Sort through the piles. Recycle your old papers.  Shred the overflowing "to-be-shredded-file" and enjoy your new de-cluttered atmosphere. Your company will thank you.  According to CNN, UK office workers spend up to an entire workday per year searching for misplaced documents. Could American office workers be much better?
  2. Give Your Computer Some TLC.  Let's face it, before the internet, compressed air was the most exciting thing around the office.  Even the most serious of office managers can't help but feel a thrill of joy when they stick the red straw into the hole of the canister, gently squeeze the trigger and feel the freezing cold compressed-air-magic begin to frost the exterior of the container.  Its recommended that those who work on an office computer, in a carpeted room, and who eat/drink near the computer, clean their computer about every 7 months. 
  3. Start At the Bottom of Your "List-of-Things-To-Do". Your to-do-list most likely contains at least 3 or 4 things that you never quite get to because the computer always draws your attention.  It might even include cleaning your desk and/or your computer, in which case you have a great head start. Interrupted internet service is your opportunity to get the old fashioned things done.
  4. Start Planning for When Internet Service is Back.  Just when your list got shorter, it's time to beef it back up.  In all the multi-tasking-phone-ringing-emailing in a normal workday, you rarely have uninterrupted time to just think. Enjoy the break and use it to plan your upcoming work days, strategies, meetings or brainstorm with a colleague.
  5. Use Some of Your Banked Vacation Time.  A recent survey reports that the average American left at least 2 vacation days unused last year. Yikes!  You deserve a vacation.  If much of your work relies on internet service and you have accomplished everything you can do without it, cash in. An unexpected afternoon off can do a world of good for your well being.

Hopefully, this experience is not the norm for you and your office mates.  Give thanks for reliable internet service when you're back in business - your work depends on it.

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