Crisis at work? Here’s how you cope with it

Crises at the office

Whether it is at your workplace or at home, when an unexpected occurrence happens, the wise thing to do is to be calm and face and problem.  Both overreacting and not doing anything can only make things go from bad to worse.  Workplaces generally tend to have emergency plan in the event of a crisis such as a  fire or an earthquake.  Here are a few examples of a crisis at work.

1. Power outage

A power outage can occur because of a natural calamity such as a cyclone resulting in high speed winds.  When you are at work and there is a power outage, you could be faced with the problem of keeping yourself productive, after your laptop or mobile phone runs out of battery.  The first thing to do is to notify your city’s electricity board.

If you have to stay until the end of your shift, think of work-related things you can do to keep yourself occupied.  No matter what your field of work is, ideating, will not be in vain.  Use this time to be proactive.  Put down your thoughts, ideas, and marketing strategies on a piece of paper.  Do things that you wouldn’t otherwise be doing, such as analyzing your work environment and notice things you had probably been too busy to notice, or talking to co-workers you haven’t talked much with.

2. Boss throws a fit

Angry boss

Employees generally tend to be at a loss for words when their boss throws a fit.  The fact that they are your boss puts you in a difficult situation wherein you cannot say or do anything without the risk of losing your job altogether.   Under no circumstances should you yell back at your boss.   The wise thing to do would be to calmly sit and take it, no matter whose fault it is.  Approach them after you are sure they have cooled off, talk to them about the problem, explain yourself, and suggest a solution.  This would also help you understand what you can do to avoid a similar situation in the future.

3. Laptop crashes right before your presentation

Your laptop may contain all the data you have created, worked on, or compiled.  It is always advised that you backup important data so that you don’t lose them.  However, in the event that your laptop does crash, say, right before your presentation, what do you do?  Quickly jot down the series of slides from memory onto a paper and carry on with the presentation, explaining everything in your own words.  This will be better than cancelling your presentation altogether.  Also, remember to apologize to your audience about how your laptop has crashed.

4. Wardrobe malfunctions at work


Everybody knows that wardrobe malfunctions can happen anywhere.  Shirt buttons may pop and zippers may come undone.  If you can head to the restroom and fix it with a few safety pins, then you can continue your day like nothing happened.  However, if the rip cannot be covered up, the appropriate thing to do would be to head home and change into another outfit.

5. Fire breakout

Follow the emergency evacuation plan that your workplace has in case a fire breaks out.  If you are new and not aware of it, follow any one of your co-workers until you reach an area of safety.  Remember to stay low if there is smoke,  and not to take the elevator.

6. Difficult co-worker

Colleagues who are difficult to work with can make your work-life miserable.  Whether they are lazy, pushy, or negative all the time, it can put you in a bad mood and affect your productivity at work.  Read all about handling a difficult co-worker here:

7. Accidentally breaking office equipment

In the event that you accidentally break office equipment, be it the coffee maker or the photocopy machine, the appropriate thing to do is to own up.  If it really was an accident, chances are that you will be let off the hook.

8. Elevator breakdown

If you are in an elevator and it suddenly breaks down, keep calm until help arrives.  Switch on the flashlight on your phone and look for an alarm.  Staying calm and breathing in and out can prevent the onset of a panic attack if you are prone to it.

Editor’s note:

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