Splashy things like guns, food, water, and bunkers often take center stage in the prepper world. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s important to step back and consider if you’re prepared for more unique, down-to-earth disasters. Case in point: trying to navigate external troubles while working from home.
Millions of people are working on the homefront in the wake of the coronavirus. This virtual connection to one another is tenuous at best, with communication issues always a faulty router, weak internet connection, or power outage away. If a disaster strikes while you’re working remotely, here are a few bonus prepper tips that you’re going to want to bear in mind, especially when it comes to keeping your home office up and running in the short-term.
Start with a Few Questions
Having a disaster plan in place is a normal part of running both a home and a business. Lining up procedures and resources can provide continuity and a clear path of recovery in the event of a disaster.
This philosophy applies to remote work, as well. By working remotely, your home office, your briefcase, and even your person become far-flung pieces of your company’s operation. As such, it’s important to safeguard against trouble by having a clear plan in place before problems arise.
Start this process by considering your particular situation. Ask yourself the following questions to start formulating your plan:
- What kinds of dangers could you face in your current situation? Natural disasters like a hurricane or earthquake? Manmade disasters like a power outage or a riot?
- Will you be able to stay on-site at your home if a potential disaster strikes? Will you need to find an alternative place to work?
- Do you already have prepping basics, such as an emergency kit and a disaster recovery plan, in place? These prepper 101 items are priority number one and should be in place before you work on remote work disaster preparedness.
It’s important to start the remote work prepping process by considering both the kind of disasters you could face as well as how your personal life is already safeguarded against them. Once you’ve identified these, it’s time to consider how you can maintain your professional lifelines.
Prepping for 21st-Century Essentials
There are several specific areas of emergency preparedness that remote workers should address. These include the following:
- Power: When it comes to remote work, it’s electricity that makes the world go round. It’s important to have clear backup power sources set up. This should start with a portable power supply for your phone and smaller devices. If and when you can, try to take things a step further by purchasing a generator to keep your entire home office up and running, too.
- Internet: You can’t work remotely without an internet connection. Consider investing in a hotspot option for your smartphone to keep you online if the power goes out.
- Cybersecurity: Use a virtual private network (VPN) and managed service providers (MSPs) whenever possible. This enables you to maintain cybersecurity, even if you’re temporarily working out of the house.
- Physical security: You may have important physical records. It’s wise to keep them in a fireproof safe. Keep either secure online copies or duplicates in a lockbox at the bank.
Along with setting up contingency and security plans to keep you up and running, here are a few other considerations to keep in mind:
- Break down how and why you should maintain communication with your employer, clients, or customers in the case of an emergency.
- Gather important contact information for electric and gas companies as well as your internet provider so that they’re readily available.
- Consider getting a landline to keep you connected even if your cellphone or local cell towers stop working.
- Identify nearby alternative locations where you can temporarily work. This can be a cowork space, a local restaurant with WiFi, or a friend or family member.
Set Clear Expectations
Finally, remember to set clear expectations for your productivity in the event of a disaster. You may be able to remain up and running if a catastrophe takes place. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should expect to operate as if it’s business as usual.
Working with generators and hotspots, maintaining extra communication with others, and even physically relocating to work can all chip away at both your productivity and efficiency. With that in mind, make sure to set clear expectations for yourself.
If you’re working through a disaster, take time to identify priorities and delay things that are not time-sensitive. Be detailed and transparent with employers, coworkers, and clients regarding your current situation, as well. The goal should be to alert everyone, including yourself, to the fact that you’ll be less productive for the time being.
Prepping as a Remote Worker
There is always a laundry list of things that must be considered when you’re truly serious about being prepared. Maintaining your remote work capabilities certainly falls high on that list. Unless you’re dealing with a world-ending apocalypse, chances are most disasters that you run into are going to be short-term, temporary events.
This makes sustaining your professional life a priority. You don’t want to sacrifice your career momentum simply because you were caught flatfooted when a storm rolled into town or the power went out. So consider your remote work needs and make a remote work continuity and recovery plan. That way you’ll be ready for whatever trouble life may throw your way.