What to do When Your Network is Down
A network being down can mean a few different things. First, it can mean your internet connection isn’t working and second, it can mean your internal network of computers is down. Both can be very costly to any size business as most businesses rely on their computers to get even small daily tasks done.
At the very least it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Here are some suggestions on what to do when your network is down to make the most of downtime:
1. Contact the administrator:
Regardless if it is your internet connection or the computers themselves, the first thing you need to do is contact the person who controls them. If you have managed IT services, they should notice before or at the same time you do. But if you don’t, the sooner you contact someone is the sooner it can get fixed.
2. Use other networks:
Mobile hotspots are becoming more and more common. If you can do so – temporarily connecting to a mobile hotspot can solve your internet needs. Note: this is NOT something you should have to rely on but will never hurt having as a backup. If you are using a laptop, many public places have free WIFI. If you are using something like Microsoft Office 365 you can install free apps on your smartphone to be able to access email and other shared files.
3. Make a list:
If your internet is down: You should be able to keep using your computer, just without internet connectivity. Make a list of everything you would do if it was working properly so that when it is restored you can get those tasks done right away.
If your computer is down: Make a list of what you need to accomplish once it is back up. Even an hour or two of downtime can cause a serious rift in your day; Be prepared for when it is working again. This can reduce more downtime due to being overwhelmed.
4. Create a downtime strategy:
If you don’t already have one, come up with a plan for what to do if downtime happens again. Even with the best networks, downtime is a possibility. If you have a plan in place with how to handle it, you can ensure less wasted time. If you already have a plan place, review it and make any revisions needed.
5. Clean your desk area:
How often do you clean the area around your computer? A quick wipe down and organization can help lessen both clutter and germs. There are many studies and articles about how having a clean desk helps to boost productivity. While this is a good thing to keep up on regularly, downtime is a perfect time to handle it.
6. Discuss downtime with your Network Administrator:
I am including this because it is important but should be taken care of before an emergency. Have a good relationship with your network administrator. Whether that is someone in-house or a person or company that takes care of your network remotely. Ultimately, they are responsible for and in control of the network. If your company’s livelihood relies on the use of computers, you need to be able to rely who oversees their care. Before you have downtime issues, it is a good idea to talk about the steps involved if it does happen. Having protocols for downtime in place before it happens is important. Find out what his/her strategy is and adjust yours accordingly. But do discuss this BEFORE downtime occurs. During downtime your network administrator will be busy fixing the problem.
Handling downtime can vary greatly from business to business based on what the business does and what their computers are needed for. There are many reasons your network could have downtime, but it will always help to be prepared. Having trustworthy network and computer support is an absolute must for businesses today. Know how to handle downtime ahead of when it happens, can greatly save time (not to mention the cost of downtime). Time is a valuable commodity and no company wants to hemorrhage time.