Losing Your Connection: Not The End of The World

During the current quarantine period, many people have had their share of difficulties with working from home. Whether it’s poor connection to meetings, family running through webcams, or being just plain unproductive there always seems to be something getting in the way of having a successful workday. However, not too long ago I had run into the biggest roadblock that anyone can face when working from home. A storm had hit my state of New Jersey and I lost power in my home when it disabled many cable wires in my neighborhood. Losing your connection to the internet and your other team members can make you feel like giving up on doing a solid day’s work, and that’s how I felt when my router went dead in the middle of the workday. However, if you are still looking for a way to stay productive even without the use of power in your home, you can follow the steps that I took in order to stay in check with my team at Red Summit.

Check Your Options

I knew that I only had a limited span of time to work with my devices once I knew that they would be dead by the end of the day. During this time, I made sure to try and reconnect my computer to my personal hotspot on my phone to see if I could maintain a connection strong enough for what I needed to get done. This was a perfectly viable option until realizing that trying to power both my phone and my laptop on the same battery was going to have it drain before getting to lunch. Being able to stay in my home would have been preferable, but I knew that there would have to be somewhere else I could go to in order to use some power. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, most businesses like coffee shops that would have worked in the past just aren’t available now. Living in a suburban community, I had to get more creative with how I was going to tackle this problem.

I realized that the answer to my power situation was sitting in my garage the entire time, I could power everything that I would need in my car! I left my home in search of an area of my neighborhood where I could set up my office on my dashboard and see how long I could go before I ran out of gas. I ended up parking in the lot just outside of the track and field that I used to run on in high school. I’m sure there were plenty of people confused to see me set up in my car with all my devices as they geared up to run laps, but it ended up being a productive end to my day. However, when I got home from my little excursion to the track, I found out that I would be without power for the rest of the week. Thinking forward at the end of that day made me realize that I would need to find a more permanent solution.

Check Your Neighbors

Generators are an absolute game changer when faced with work from home difficulties. I could hear the soft hum around many of my neighbors and I realized that it would have been nice to have a backup plan, but there was no use dwelling on it now. I, unfortunately, have never had a generator so I could not simply fix my connectivity problems with the flip of a switch. I considered the option of going over and asking my neighbors if I could simply log onto their internet for the workday, much like you would ask a neighbor for a cup of sugar when you were short of a teaspoon. Looking to the community around you for help once in a while can be a really refreshing idea, but when you are unable to knock on anyone’s doors in order to ask so that you can maintain safe distancing, it doesn’t seem like it would work out that well. With no help to be gained from those around me and being unable to keep my office in my car running with today’s gas prices, I knew that I would have to fall back on my most reliable option.

Check Your Family

I am lucky enough to have extended family close enough to me that I have been able to stay connected with throughout quarantine. Their neighborhood had not been as affected as mine, and so they had decided it was best to share their space with us until we were back up and running. I was more than happy to be able to spend some time with them, while still being able to do my 9:00 to 5:00 duties. When faced with problems like these, there is the initial feeling to just throw in the towel for the day and hope to get back into the swing of things when the problem gets fixed. However, you can always find creative solutions that allow you to move past and still do a good job despite the circumstances. At this point, I am just waiting for the next power line to fall so I can see what else I can come up with!

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