First off, breathe.
If it’s literally on fire, get the extinguisher and call 911. If it is not literally on fire, you’re ok.
SkyTech Media Solutions has this figured out already, so if you work with us, it’s handled. For those of you who don’t yet have a service contract with us, here are some tips:
If you have an internal IT Department, then you already have a handful of processes in place, even if they aren’t written anywhere. There are the things you lean over and ask your coworker because you’re sure it’s easy to fix and you don’t want to call IT, the things you call IT to fix, and the things IT calls their back-up support to help them solve. When the main IT person is sick, there’s usually an official or unofficial second-best to answer most questions, and the number to the bat-phone in case of panic still works, because it leads to a network of engineers and not just one. The one case of the flu doesn’t really kill anything.
If you don’t have an internal IT department, and you have a service contract with someone outside the company, be sure to ask what happens when your engineer gets sick. They should answer, like we do, that we have a network of engineers who all work together, so when someone is sick or on vacation, there’s always someone to cover.
Our network of engineers is scattered all over the US, and since most tech issues can be solved remotely, it doesn’t matter where they are physically on the planet at the time. Because we don’t share an office, we also don’t share the flu the way coworkers sometimes can.
It’s also noteworthy that being able to solve problems remotely means being able to solve them from your house with a mug of hot tea, so we’re probably working anyway, flu or no flu.
Regardless of whether or not you have an internal IT department, take some time and make things official. Assign someone to be number one, two and three for computer issues so they know they are assigned and won’t be surprised when it happens. For everything computer-related that is in any way important in your office, get the person who does that thing to write out the steps so clearly that someone walking in from the street could follow them, then put that collective notebook right by the computer in question. Make sure the phone number to the off-site engineer is in the front cover where it can’t be lost or misfiled. That way, if you are passing the flu around the office you’ll always be able to survive a week or two without your resident guru.
And if you call us a little more often than usual that week, we completely understand. We’ll make sure you’re covered.