Chances are, the access to electricity is something that we most often take for granted in life. Many would assume that it is natural that we find the lights are on all day, we can easily charge our laptops and gadgets, or we can sleep comfortably under in an air-conditioned room. While we might think that electricity is a common thing today, apparently not all energy is consumed equally across the world. For 16 percent or 1.2 billion people of the world’s population, electricity is a privilege that they cannot enjoy easily.
Amidst the ever changing digital age and growing development of Industry 4.0, electricity is also the driving force of economic activity around the world. Imagine if electricity is suddenly cut off, we will find it difficult and unproductive given that most jobs nowadays are closely related to technology and devices powered by electricity. From computers, telephones, printers, to faxes, many jobs and tasks require electricity to run actively and efficiently. No wonder, when the electricity goes out, we often have to stop our work because we have to wait until our devices are on again. Owing to this reason, power failure is seen as nonproductive because we cannot do most of our tasks in the dark.
Last June, some parts of Singapore's financial district suffered a rare power outage that kept the business from operating for a while. Then in mid-September, Singapore was hit by a power outage that covered 19 areas. While this occurred early in the evening – where most residents might be sleeping – there still needs to be attention and preparation so that the same thing does not happen again. Then the question remains, what should you do when an unexpected power disruption happens, such that time is not wasted and you can still be productive at work? Here’s how:
1. Stay in contact with boss or clients
If you are working with a boss or handle clients who are located in different area or country, they will be wondering when you suddenly go offline and cannot be contacted. To avoid any misunderstanding and miscommunication, the first thing you have to do when a power failure occurs is to ring up the people you work with regarding the conditions you are facing, especially if electricity does not go on in a short time.
2. Create offline backups for files
For most of the time, power outage is unpredictable because the cause tends to be sudden, such as heavy rain or storm which then cuts off the power supply. It surely is not a pleasant experience if you have to lose the documents you have been typing in an instant when your computer turns off all of sudden. To avoid similar things from happening, it is smart to always make both online and offline backup files so you don't lose valuable files in vain.
3. Find a Wi-Fi connection
If the electricity suddenly goes out while you have to finish an important project as soon as possible, then you have to find a Wi-Fi connection to have access to the data or files stored in the cloud. If the situation does not allow you to get out of the office and go to a café or other place that provides a Hotspot area, then you can use mobile devices for mobile tethering so you can stay connected and proceed with your tasks.
4. Maximise device batteries
You don’t know whether the power outage will last for a long or short time. In this case, it would be wise if you are not wasteful with your devices battery life. Don’t spend your time browsing through social media or watching YouTube videos (even with your own data plan) because this has the potential to make your battery shrink quickly. You don’t want to miss an important call from clients when your smartphone is out of batteries.
5. Jot down new ideas
When was the last time you held a pen and wrote something on actual paper? Besides writing simple memos, it seems that nowadays people rarely write manually. When suffering a power interruption at work, you can be friends again with paper and pens by creating a draft of new ideas or plans for your upcoming project so you can stay productive.
6. Take time to wind down
The absence of electricity can be a good opportunity for you to explore the surrounding. You can take a break from your work to clean your cubicle so it becomes more comfortable to work, organise the mounting files on your desk, do simple yoga moves in your chair, or even take quality power nap for some minutes. Thus, when the lights are on, so does your enthusiasm to get back to work.
Next read: Should You Let Your Employees Work Outdoors?