New York is getting hammered by a brutal Nor’ Eastern blizzard at the moment, and as I sit at home working remotely (we had to close our offices in the City), I am realizing that companies who strongly support telework have a huge advantage on days like this over those that don’t.
People who work in more temperate areas don’t quite know the struggle. Snowstorms around my neck of the woods can shutter your brick-and-mortar doors for days, usually during end-of-the-year crunch time or beginning-of-the-year ramping up time. Then the snow doesn’t melt for months, creating a Wipeout-style obstacle course on the sidewalks, extending commutes, and generally adding to employee stress – the magic of the season.
When our office closes for severe weather however, our clients elsewhere are still having a normal workday. Simply being available can be much more important than being physically at a place is what I’m getting at. If you are flexible with telework and prepare accordingly for severe weather, it doesn’t have to slow you down. Here are some quick tips:
- Give clear instructions – Stay abreast of any winter storm warnings send out an email alert prior to any severe weather detailing the options employees have for working that day, should the office be closed.
- Provide the good tech – Use laptops, VPNs, and software-based phone systems – the good stuff – to give any remote worker a truly virtual setup that doesn’t hinder their ability to do daily tasks.
- Communicate with teams – If tasks for the day need to be delayed or canceled, give your team members an update on any workflow changes early in the day so they can prioritize assignments.
It’s that simple. Be clear; provide the right tools along with a bit of thoughtfulness and everyone stays safe and productive. Teleworkers don’t take snow days!