Upside to being down

Jul 13, 2020

Having a set strategy for when the internet is down will prove you are the leader you are striving to be.

The internet is down. What do you do? Head home for the day? PANIC?!? If you don’t have any IT responsibilities, you probably don’t have a set plan of action in the event you are suddenly cut off from the outside world.

Recently, we temporarily lost use of what I now know is the real glue to any office, the all-powerful internet. Our phones are relayed through the same provider and followed suit soon after our internet access vanished into the ether. Most people take this opportunity to wrap up and start their evening early, and they feel fine about the way they handled the situation. This group usually takes less than 15 minutes to clear out like they are late for something they didn’t have planned. Then there are those who are master planners and won’t be steered away from the rhythm of productivity. Here are a few tips on how to find yourself in the more productive of those two groups:

  • Be positive. If you are a positive person, you won’t have a problem with keeping the right attitude. Having a positive attitude can also help build new skills faster, earn more, and help us live longer.
  • Communicate. Make the rounds to tell everyone in the office which services are temporarily down and what is being done to solve the problem. You’ll probably try to send an email out first before realizing that is not an option. This issue can normally be communicated in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Drafted. Nothing is stopping you from putting together that weekly email report and saving it to the drafts folder. This strategy is almost always underutilized and can even save you an extra travel expense if you want to be productive without the choppy internet on most flights. I edited this article from a seat on a redeye out of Seattle.
  • Tidy up. Clean up that projections sheet that hasn’t been touched in three weeks. Get your white board in order and make sure your team knows why you keep it organized the way you do. Always try and snap a picture of your white board before traveling for easy references.
  • Strategic planning. Is your plan for the future all that you want it to be? This is a good time to make sure you are working towards those commitments you made to improve the lives of everyone with the company.

There are countless other things that can be done when the unexpected strikes. Having a set strategy for when this day arrives will prove you are the leader you are striving to be. Contact me at if you have any other go-to tips for a doomsday office scenario.

Chad Coldiron is director of executive search at Zweig Group. Contact him at

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About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.