It should not take catastrophic events like a major highway going up in flames for your company to put an emergency preparedness plan into place. Do not be caught scrambling to find ways to accommodate employees who cannot get to the brick-and-mortar office due to an emergency. But, if you are like the many who are stuck trying to find alternate routes to downtown Atlanta right now, an opportunity has presented itself. Establish a business continuity plan.
Employer: Prepare Your Company with a Business Continuity Plan
Establishing your continuity plan includes assessing your telework options. A sure way to certify your productivity levels will not be negatively impacted when major national or local disruptions occur is by giving employees the tools they need to work from home or other remote locations. By developing procedures ahead of time, there should be a seamless transition for employees to begin working remotely.
Not taking advantage of this opportunity is equivalent to throwing cash away. You are almost guaranteed to have a drop in sales and customer satisfaction.
For example, 2013 Superstorm Sandy: “Top challenges for small businesses during or after the storm were: customer issues, employee issues, supplier issues….71% of impacted small business owners experienced a power outage…44% reported that it took seven days or more (some for weeks) to open their doors again…52% of impacted small business owners experienced loss of sales or revenue.” Remember Hurricane Katrina? Or perhaps your city is selected to host a Superbowl…eh hem, looking at you ATL..2019 Superbowl. These are other illustrations of economic disruption. While not always that extreme, unplanned circumstances arise all the time.
Essentially, job duties should remain in tact and performance expectations should go unchanged. You need to determine what and how technology is used; whether equipment needs to be deployed; whether weekly and monthly schedules be the same; the frequency of communication and tools to be used; how meetings will be conducted; establish secure, shared electronic locations for information to be retrieved; finally, offer helpful tips to employees on how to be successful in a work-from-home environment. By establishing and testing telework alternatives now, you will be in much better shape when there is a call to action. And you never know, you may find that you are equally as productive with distributed employees and transition to a permanent, money-saving situation.