What on earth do we do? How do we communicate? How do we get things done? As a web development company this is pretty critical but are there some benefits to being offline (for a short time)?
A while ago this happened in our office - one of our phone lines went down and the internet wasn’t working. We were cut off from the world apart from our ‘new business’ line!
Working in a web development company – this is a big deal! Everything we do revolves around the internet. Interestingly the office is usually industrially quiet with developers having their heads down, working hard, coding and emailing as their main mode of communication. So the slight panic of not knowing what to do when the preferred option was not available was palpable in the office. I, on the other hand, am slightly extroverted and love having a chat with people, face-to-face as my preferred method of communication, so I relished the chance to do this legitimately in the office without feeling I was distracting people from their work.
It did make me think - how on earth did things get done back in the days pre-email, pre-internet?
I remember asking a previous colleague who worked before the days of the world wide web (in the field of print design) and interestingly she said people were decisive and committed to meeting dates, they stuck to deadlines and what had been agreed much better than they do now. Once something had been ‘signed-off’ and sent to print - that was it - no last minute changes, no cancellations, no going back! Granted, things took longer as fax, phone, courier and post were the main channels of communication but generally things were more straightforward to schedule and track.
Imagine if we had the internet and websites but didn’t have email as a form of communication with clients and colleagues. Would we all be better at committing to what had been agreed, sticking to deadlines, not changing our minds as often as a chameleon can change colour?
I obviously think the positives of having email and the internet do outweigh the negatives of society’s (in general) increasingly noncommittal (and blame) culture but for the brief time our internet was down (although some work wasn’t getting done), there were other benefits that came out of the fiasco; such as communicating as humans face-to-face (not relying on Social Media) and creating a friendly atmosphere in the office, which, in my opinion all adds to working well as a team. There is always work to be done and the little internet ‘down time’ we had made us (or me at least) be bit more resourceful to find solutions and ways round the problem and getting other bits of work done that tend to take a back seat when the phone is ringing. A little ‘down time’ is needed and can be helpful - in proportion.
Here's some suggestions of things to do when your internet goes down:
- Write a few blog posts in advance
- Use the phone to call clients - check how things are going and see if they have any improvements/requirements for their website
- Get your filing on your computer/ the system sorted properly
- Get your invoicing up-to-date
- Learn how to program your computer
- Tidy the office/your desk to be less cluttered (helping your thoughts to be less cluttered)
- Make a cuppa for you and your colleagues!
Blog written by Natalie Wiggins