PSA: Always have a backup place to work

A workspace you can quickly move to is just as important as a computer backup


Whether you work at an office, from home, or on the go, keeping your options open about where you can work from will save not just your livelihood, but your sanity too.

I'd like to interrupt my typical blog coverage to talk about, well, interruptions at work. Not your everyday interruptions from co-workers or pets (if you work from home, like me), but the big, can't-get-any-work-done-at-all interruptions, such as your power going out indefinitely or extreme weather keeps you from getting to work.

The perfect storm of interruptions has hit me today: Extended family visiting and taking over all the rooms, my daughter on school vacation and frequently wanting my attention, and the cacophony of my neighbor's tree getting chainsawed, all day long. Here's a view from my window:

distracting treecutting Melanie Pinola

It sounds louder than it looks

Some big interruptions, like the tree-cutting, are unexpected and, therefore, aren't easy to plan for. But just as some people have a "bug out bag" that they can grab at any moment during an emergency to evacuate their homes and have emergency supplies, we need a bug out bag for work--another place to get away to and get things done. If you work in an office building, you could have a second workspace at home. If you work from home, Starbucks will do in a pinch, but the library might be more conducive to work. Or for long interruptions, such as if construction is going on, even an extended hotel stay.

Besides knowing where you're going to go, it helps to have the supplies you need to take to the other place at the ready: power cords and ethernet cables, headphones (of course), and a VPN already setup so you can work securely from an open Wi-Fi network.(You can set it up yourself or just subscribe to a service, like Private Internet Access, as I do.) You might also work more productively in your alternative workspace if you mirror the setup as closely as possible to your current one (bring along the same accessories, maybe).

This is also a reminder to employers to have a Plan B for their workers to have another place to go to if need be.

Where do you go when you can't work where you normally work?

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