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Should you use a power outage excuse for work?

Power outage excuse for work
Should you use a power outage excuse for work?
At some point, we’ve all had to miss work for one reason or another. Should you use a power outage excuse for work?
Posted in: Remote Work
Power outage excuse for work
Should you use a power outage excuse for work?

Millions of people have had to work from home since the pandemic began. Increasing numbers of companies are now accommodating their staff by allowing them to work remotely either full-time or for a reduced number of days per week as regulations loosen. 

Such arrangements should be contingent on the worker having reliable access to electricity, a phone line, and the internet at their residence.

Forces beyond an employee's control may occasionally render them unable to perform their job. Recent storms in the UK provided an example since many people's houses lost power, and they could not go to work for a time. 

This post will describe the power outage issue and how remote workers can deal with this problem. 

Power outage excuse for work 

Excuse for work​

 There are a few common reasons that people might use to excuse being late or absent from work due to a power outage:

  1. The power went out at their home and they were unable to get ready for work or travel to the office.
  2. The power went out at the office and they were unable to access the building or perform their duties.
  3. The power went out on their commute to work and they were unable to safely travel to the office.
  4. The power went out at a critical location (such as a train station or airport) and they were unable to travel to work as a result.

In general, it is important to be honest and upfront with your employer if you are unable to come to work due to a power outage or any other unforeseen circumstance. They will likely understand and be willing to work with you to find a solution.

What can you do about this problem? 

If an alternative solution can be agreed upon between the company and the worker, that should be pursued. They might, for instance, be able to complete the task offline or make up the time during non-normal working hours.

Leave can be considered if that's not possible and the worker cannot perform any job duties.

If an employee has requested remote work but cannot do so because of technological difficulties—such as a loss of power at home—the employee is responsible for finding a solution that allows them to do their job. Working from home, a coworking space, or a coffee shop are all viable alternatives to physically going to an office. Unpaid time off or annual leave can be used for emergency situations where employees cannot perform their job duties.

On the other hand, if a normal office-goer is told to work from home because of safety concerns and is later unable to do so because of a power outage, the company should compensate the worker for the time lost by giving them paid time off. The same rule applies if a store or restaurant closes for the day because of terrible weather and safety concerns, but the employee cannot work from home. If employees cannot perform their duties due to circumstances beyond their control and their employer fails to pay them, they may file a claim against the company for unjust enrichment and breach of contract.

The best way to guarantee everyone is on the same page and that expectations are properly managed is to have all of these scenarios documented in your company's remote and hybrid work policy. 

What should you do in case of a power cut as a remote worker?

What should you do in case of a power cut as a remote worker?

As a remote worker, a power cut can be annoying and may disrupt your workflow. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to anticipate and prepare for unexpected events such as these. 

First, make sure you have emergency charging supplies like an external battery so that you don't get stuck with a dead laptop halfway through the day. Next, if you are expecting an important meeting or call, see if you can use a mobile device as a backup in case your home office runs out of power.

Lastly, it's always a good idea to keep updated on your power provider's service status - that way, if there is an outage, you can quickly contact them for information about when it will be restored. Taking these simple precautions will help make sure that the next time your electricity fails, you are well prepared!

If you work from home, losing power or Internet access might be more than an inconvenience. If you do, you'll be glad you prepared in advance for the likely power and Internet loss.

In the event of a power outage, your internet connection will not be affected. However, they frequently occur together, and some answers apply to both. Preparation is the key to reducing disruptions caused by either power failure. 

Be prepared 

 Even if there are times when a power outage occurs unexpectedly, in this era of constant media coverage, we are usually well aware of an impending storm. A full battery is essential for your electronic devices. 

Preparing yourself for a power cut while working remotely can be daunting, but with a little foresight and planning ahead it can be very manageable. To get started, make sure you have multiple ways of charging all your electronic equipment. Keeping an external battery charger handy is a great way to ensure you'll still be able to use any devices if the power goes out. 

Additionally, make sure you've committed important documents and tasks to an online drive or cloud so that you won't lose any progress if your laptop's battery dies. 

On the home front, having a stash of non-perishable items in the pantry will mean less running around if disaster strikes. Finally, by regularly testing out back-up plans, you can keep ahead of potential problems and take big steps toward eliminating any fear of a power cut keeping you from working successfully.

Get copies of any files you might need to view offline and save them to your computer.

Travel to the office

If there is a power or internet outage at your house, you may be required to report to the office, as some employees do during weather events. If possible, you should consult the office manager ahead of time to set up a contingency plan. 

Perhaps a vacant workstation is available, or you might use a meeting room. However, you should be prepared for the possibility of needing to locate child care at the last minute.  

Look for free WiFi

Get to a coffee shop, bookstore, or another public place offering free WiFi on your laptop or netbook. Many small businesses and even some large companies like McDonald's provide it. It's possible that if the blackout is extensive, none of these locations will be open or have WiFi. Be a nice client and purchase from the store if you bring the kids along and have lots of entertainment.  

Get a mobile broadband device

This may entail purchasing a laptop or netbook that supports mobile broadband, or it may entail purchasing a mobile broadband USB stick, a modem that connects to a computer the way a flash drive does. When you sign up for a monthly service plan with a cell phone provider, you often get the phone for free. You could want to get one with a pay-as-you-go plan if you're just going to use it in case of an emergency or while on business travel.  

Inform your boss

If you're running behind schedule, your work affects other people, or the power goes out while you're at the office, you need to let the appropriate people know what's going on. This includes your client and your manager.

They'll know when and how to get in touch with you and won't waste time assigning you jobs that you won't be able to complete in time, causing any operations to be delayed. Ensure that you provide them with all the relevant details on your current predicament. 

Check for updates about a power cut in your area

Get in touch with your utility company, and keep up with any recent developments by following their social media or news pages. Determine if the outage is localized or widespread and when you can expect electricity to be restored.

Before they cut off the power, most utilities give customers advance warning. Knowing when the scarcity is expected to hit, you may better prepare yourself with the tools and supplies you'll need at work.

Keep a power backup

Once you know that a power outage is imminent in your area, you can start making contingency measures to ensure you are not caught off guard. A backup power source like a generator, solar panels, or another method might alleviate stress.

This is done to ensure that you are prepared for any disruptions that may occur without prior notice. Your vehicle is essentially a gigantic charger, so if it doesn't have its own power outlet, you should always have a charger converter.

Use a car battery to charge your laptop

​ If your home's electricity is also out, the use of mobile broadband is kind of moot. Charge your large device using your automobile. A car charger adaptor is required if your vehicle does not have a built-in power source. Buy this in advance. Don't wait until you need it!

Keep your work-related items ready  

You should also have a list of the closest businesses, coworking spaces, restaurants, cafes, or any local shop, as well as a USB stick or broadband Wi-Fi, a fully charged power bank, spare batteries, and a list of places to use the Internet.

With mobile Wi-Fi, it's simple to sync your work so that you're prepared to go offline at any time, access any file, or connect to the web. Make sure the places you plan to visit have free Wi-Fi and will allow you to plug in your device.

You can always go to work, especially if it's not too far away. In contrast, if you opt to stay in, make the most efficient use of the time you have by limiting the use of your electronic devices. You shouldn't waste time on social networking or web surfing; instead, focus all that energy on getting things done.

Buy a backup generator

This is an extreme measure and would likely only benefit those who own very large firms in locations with regular power outages. And it's probably not something business owners need unless they're running more than one computer. For example, if the loss of refrigeration could result in financial loss for the company, investing in a backup system might be prudent.

Future of remote work and issue of power cuts  

Future of remote work and issue of power cuts ​

Instead of having a fine line between work and personal life when working from home, there was a clearer delineation at the office. But despite the pandemic, remote work will continue. The office environment is more conducive to less experienced personnel, while its freedom is ideal for more seasoned employees.

The vast majority of working Americans enjoy working remotely and say they would continue to do so if they could. If you're one of the many who've found success with a home office, you're probably all too familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of working from the comfort of your home.

Power outages are a major nuisance for remote workers, but they may have less impact in companies with backup generators or solar panels. However, it may not be possible (yet) for most people who work from home or in rented spaces.

Power outages can make it much more challenging to catch up on work that has piled up. But if you take positive action, it won't slow you down at all.

While you may have heard horror stories about how power outages disrupted people's work, the best thing you can do is prepare in advance because it's inevitable that another outage will occur at the most inconvenient of times.

Wrapping up 

No one wants their productivity to be interrupted, let alone their next paycheck, because of something as preventable as a power outage caused by the weather or an honest mistake. It's essential to be prepared in case something like this happens rather than reacting in a panic.

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Thursday, 30 May 2024
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