You have got your work-from-home time management down to practical science and are working like a boss when suddenly you experience a power loss. A work-from-home power outage can be scary and may occur during bad weather or other times.
It is crucial to prepare for this situation by knowing the first things to do when handling a power outage during work-from-home experiences and to prepare a power outage excuse for work-from-home professionals. Although various time management charts can keep you productive, these work-from-home hacks keep you productive at work, even if your power is out!
First Things to Do On Power Outage Working From Home
The CDC suggests several important things to do during a power outage, such as protecting your food and relocating if you’re in a dangerous situation. However, you are working remotely, and you need to know what to do when you experience working from home with a power outage. The three tips below should help you manage your time at home and keep you focused after losing power.
1. Immediately Save All Your Documents
When you lower power, it is important to save all your documents to ensure you don’t lose your work. This option is available when you have a laptop, but what if you work from a desktop computer? Install an automatic backup program that saves your work constantly without you needing to do it.
If you can’t save your documents or your program doesn’t work, it is important to prepare yourself to continue working. It might require taking your laptop computer (always have a backup!) to a new area where you can work with power and stay on task without difficulty. Consider calling friends to find a place to work or rent a temporary co-working space for the day.
2. Call Your Power Officials ASAP
After your power goes out and you’ve backed up your files, call your power company immediately to learn more about the situation. Note that there may be multiple power outages and that they may deal with many calls at once. You may need to wait a while before you reach an operator.
Thankfully, many power companies automatically update their answering service during power outages to let people know how long their power may be out. Others include a power outage tracker online that you can use to ensure you know when to expect power. Check this on your phone to see how long you have to wait. Call your employer immediately and tell them exactly what happened and how long you may be without power.
3. Relocate to a New Work Area With Power
Take your work laptop, a power cord, your backup storage unit, and anything else you need for work with you to a powered area with internet. For example, a local coffee shop may provide free internet and large tables where you can work. As mentioned in tip one, friends and family members may also be able to provide a temporary working location for you.
But only travel when it is safe to leave your home. For example, if a significant thunderstorm hits your area during a power outage, hunker down and wait until it calms down. Call your office and let them know what is happening and ensure that they make adjustments based on your situation.
10 Ways to Prepare for Power Outage While Working From Home
The Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA suggests several steps to minimize your problems during power outages. We adapted several of their suggestions to a work-from-home situation to ensure they work for you! These time management tips can help you ensure that you stay on task.
1. Buy a Generator
A high-quality generator can ensure your home stays powered during storms. It is important to keep it fully fueled before a storm hits. Doing so can ensure you stay productive and provide you with 12 hours of work time or even more! It may even help you improve your work-life balance by ensuring you don’t work extra hours to compensate for lost time during the outage.
2. Invest In Portable Chargers
Portable chargers are a great way to be prepared when a power outage hits you! For example, these chargers can keep your computer and internet connection operational. Try to buy multiple options and keep them fully charged at all times. Note that they can provide around 3-6 hours of power, depending on the charger, so plan your purchase according.
3. Install a Wireless Hotspot
A wireless hotspot lets you use your cellular wireless data to access the internet. Setting up one in your home is a great backup option if your internet goes out during a power outage. Note that this internet might not be as fast as what you use for your regular daily tasks. Plan around that by ensuring you adjust your usage to minimize excess strain, such as avoiding downloading when possible.
4. Research Places Where You Can Work
Create a list of places that provide free internet where you can work during a power outage, such as coffee shops and restaurants. Check your local resources to learn more. For example, states like Michigan have maps that outline free wireless connections throughout the region. Check these maps or write down a few nearby destinations to ensure that you know where to go at all times.
5. Install Surge Protectors
Surge protectors will keep you safe during power outages by avoiding dangerous electricity surges in the system. Smart power trips are particularly smart because they automatically track your power, adjust its usage, and adapt to surges to ensure your computer doesn’t get fried. Place these protectors throughout your home to further minimize the risk of fire that may make relocation necessary.
6. Add an Automatic Computer Backup
Add an automatic computer backup system to your home to ensure that you can properly track your metrics and productivity when working from home. These systems will continually save your work throughout the day and ensure that it is protected before a power outage hits you. Cloud-based storage is particularly wise here.
7. Put Flashlights and Candles Throughout the House
Keep yourself and others safe in your home by spreading flashlights and candles in various dresser drawers. Flashlights and candles can help you during extended power outages when your generator runs out of gas or if you still somehow don’t have a generator. This option can also help you stay on task and give you light to stay fit during your work breaks.
8. Add a Battery-Operated Emergency Radio
When you lose power during a major storm, staying informed about potentially dangerous situations is important. For example, buying a battery-powered NOAA weather radio can inform you of serious storm problems and know when it’s time to leave the area. Doing so can minimize your risk of getting caught in a tornado and protect your family.
9. Know Who To Call At Work
When your power goes out, it is important to contact the right people at work. For example, your HR team may be essential to contact because they may know how to explain the power outage policy to you. Save these numbers into your phone and call everyone required by your company. You should also call your team to let them know what is happening and what you’re doing.
10. Prepare For Some Questions From Your Employer
Understand that your employer will probably ask you questions about your power outage. If you work remotely far from your employer, they may ask for proof that you’re out of power. Linking them to your power company’s outage tracker may help, as well as posting weather maps showing bad storms affecting your area. Talk about their power outage policy to decide what to do.
Interview Answer About Power Outage While Working From Home
Many companies are asking their remote employees about power outage preparedness during interviews. If you plan on applying to a new remote position and worry about getting asked this question, it is essential to be prepared! Here are a few things you can say when discussing your power outage plan.
Things to Highlight
When answering this question, it is critical to highlight the steps you’ve taken to ensure you remain productive in a power outage during work from home. Research the company’s work-from-home power outage policy and then discuss a variety of different topics:
- Alternative energy sources, such as a generator or backup solar battery
- Protection for your internet connection to ensure you can keep working
- Safety steps you take to minimize your data loss
“To prepare for a power outage, I bought a home generator that will run for up to 12 hours on a single gas tank. I also bought a wireless hotspot that keeps me connected to the internet and found several alternative work areas near me, such as coffee shops and temporary office rentals. I also back up all my information on a separate physical hard drive and in the cloud to keep it safe. Having all of this in mind, I should be okay if that happens. Either way, I will contact my electricity provider ASAP and let you know the details of my situation.”
We hope that these work-from-home power outage tips helped you prepare a power outage excuse for work-from-home situations. Trying to stay focused in a power outage during work from home will require you to be prepared and to understand a few safe places you can travel to work, if necessary.
Make sure you talk to your company about their work-from-home power outage policy to ensure you get the best results. In this way, you can minimize your confusion and stay on task.