Things To Do During An Internet Outage

Sep 21, 2016Downtime and Business Continuity, IT Managed Services

Downtime happens. Whether caused by human error by your ISP or congestion on the network, the results are the same for your business- productivity, productivity that equates to real dollar loss, suffers. Even if the outage lasts for just an hour, the costs can be tremendous. When you multiply the number of employees you have, by the number of hours down, and by the number of essential business processes interrupted, you begin to see the implications.



Not all of this time has to go to complete waste. Though you may want to go into panic mode, rightfully so as downtime is very costly, the best course of action is to remain calm, and find the best method for you and your company to cope with downtime.

Before looking at what to do during downtime, let’s take a quick look at some ways to prevent, or maneuver around, downtime:

  • Use failover switches
  • Use redundant internet connectivity / have two different internet providers.
  • Because it is nearly impossible to predict just how long an internet outage will last Have the ability for users to log in remotely, from home, coffee shops, etc.  – Consider Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, or cloud desktop offerings.  Review with a sales engineer as one solution doesn’t work for all businesses!

Side note: If time is truly critical, though it is nearly impossible to predict just how long an internet outage will last, you can always opt to work from home or go to a neighborhood with shops that are unaffected by the outage, to work remotely.

Off-Line Work

  • Read those e-mails you’ve been putting off, and build a to-do list to get things accomplished.  Break the big tasks into multiple smaller ones.  Remember the best way to eat an elephant, is a bite at a time.
  • Move processes else where, write processes.
    • You most likely have programs that do not require the internet in order to operate. If your critical tools are internet-based, see if you can accomplish other tasks in other programs.
      • Here are a few ideas:
      • Is your office paperless?  Scan some more files to the paperless system!
      • You can still write e-mails and they’ll just sit in your outbox.
      • Organize files on your computers, or shared drives,
        • Create a thorough to-do list- who doesn’t love a good list?
      • Data Entry
        • Are there stacks of paper or business cards that can be entered into an off line program? No fun, but a necessary evil.
          • Does your company have a blog? Use downtime to contribute to it.
          • If all else fails, ask your boss for suggestions.


  • Is your desk a mess? Use downtime to organize it.
  • Is there a storage area in need of attention? Organize that as well.
  • Organize shared spaces such as the kitchen and meeting rooms, stock soda, waters, etc.

Team Building Activities

This is something that can be done early-on during an outage. Because you can never know the length of an internet outage, you can start with a team building activity before sending people to work elsewhere or do other tasks. If the outage lasts too long, you may want to explore other options. Visit this site for a good list of team building activities and print some off so you have them handy in the event of an outage.

Take A Quick Break

Stay Hydrated, refill your water bottle.  Focus on your ergonomics.  A quick walk outside, or even a little exercising  can do wonders. WebMD has a great article about ways to stay active at the office. Why not do these during down time? Downtime can give you an opportunity for a quick refresh.




Lauren Bell

Lauren-Denver-IT-Support-1Lauren has worked with IT managed service providers since 2012. An admirer of the entrepreneurial spirit, she loves learning about all the ways technology assists others in their accomplishments. When not creating, Lauren is out exploring Colorado mountain towns with her trusty rescue mutt, Quinn, in tow.

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