“Expect the best, plan the worst, and prepare to be surprised” – Denis Waitley
Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As remote workers we become very dependent on technology. The nature of our work usually requires at a minimum a computer, a telephone, internet access, and a printer as the barebones requirements, and for many add a fax machine and copier to the mix.
As a great a blessing technology is, sometimes things go wrong and the wheels come off the bus so to speak;
- Power outages
- Internet service interruptions
- Telephone service interruptions
- Hardware failure
- Software failure / data loss
Without basic technology, our work can and will come to a complete stop. These events can be very disruptive to our work, negatively affecting our effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, and often happen at the worst possible time, i.e. on the eve of a deadline.
The good news is that for minimal cost and effort, you can be prepared for these disruptions and have continuity with your work effort. At a minimum, all remote workers who primarily work from a home office or offsite location should have the following redundancy in place;
- Low cost UPS (uninterrupted power supply). This will continue to provide power to your computer, router and printer during a power outage
- Backup computer. The cost of a new computer has dropped so much that anyone who relies on a computer for their work should purchase a backup computer and load it with the same software used for your work that is loaded on your primary computer
- High capacity external hard drive that is automatically backed up regularly with all working folders and files from your primary computer. This will prevent data loss if your primary computer fails
- Second telephone line. If you use your mobile phone and your main contact, subscribe to Vonage or Skype as a backup service. This will give you telephone service if your mobile phone breaks, is lost or stolen
- Second internet service. If you have high speed cable or DSL as your main internet service, sign up for a wireless broadband plan as a backup.
Trust me, if you work remote long enough, one of the above disasters or inconveniences will strike, so better be prepared in advance.
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