Be prepared for the worst
Something like an earthquake took place in my computer system last week.
The image on my computer screen started shaking up and down – this was all I needed: a technological breakdown, when I had a pile of work to do.
It took me ages to figure out what the problem was… and when I did, a little advance planning from a long time ago really paid off.
After unplugging everything and switching things on and off, I finally realised the problem was being caused by my wireless keyboard and mouse. Luckily, I had a spare keyboard and mouse stashed away.
They’re old, there are wires everywhere, and I’ve had to rearrange my desk to accommodate the new system – but at least I can continue working, and business carries on.
It got me thinking about business contingency – what would you do if your electricity or internet connection went down, your computer died on you, there was a flood in your home, or you were struck down by illness or an accident?
Contingency planning is not a one-off job, it’s something you can be continually improving on. Here are a few measures you could take, that your future self will thank you for.
- Suss out a local cafe, library, or even an understanding neighbour’s home where you could take your laptop and phone, and carry on working.
- A back-up dongle is ideal for emergency internet access – a pay-as-you-go one will cost less than £20 to buy, and then nothing until you need it.
- Backing up your important business files goes without saying (right!?) but don’t forget your contacts, online diary, saved passwords and email folders. I keep all my important files backed up on the internet, and use a hosted exchange server to run Outlook online.
- Research and create a list of emergency phone numbers of trusted experts you can call on to deal with anything from an IT disaster to a home emergency.
- Check your insurance is up-to-date and covers you adequately for everything from professional mishaps to theft, sickness and accidental damage.
I am sure that there are lots of other top tips on what to do in a ‘working from home’ emergency. Drop me a line and let me know what they are, you never know I might need them soon enough…..