How to Stay Productive on a Snow Day
Snow day. For children, those two magical words mean a day away from school. For small businesses, the same two words can spell disaster. Winter weather and snow storms can hurt a company’s efficiency in several ways. They can:
- Reduce staff at a business location, slowing down projects and work
- Unexpectedly cancel meetings and work tasks
- Make it harder for customers to reach the team
- Make it more difficult to distribute products and provide services
- Slow down delivery of inventory and supplies
- Make it harder to communicate with vendors and suppliers who are also impacted by the weather
While winter can mean shoveling out from under a mountain of snow, it doesn’t have to grind small business productivity to a halt. In fact, snow days allow you to get plenty done, even if your company locations or offices are closed for the day. Just follow these snow day tips for staying productive, no matter what the weather is doing:
- Use Cloud-Based TechnologyIf your office keeps digitized documents in the cloud and communicates through email and project-sharing programs, it will be much easier to stay on task, even if no one can make it to work. This system also makes it easier for employees to work from home when they are injured, unwell, or need to stay home for other reasons.[dt gap height=”10″]Programs such as Trello, Basecamp, and other systems allow you to assign tasks, share files, and communicate from home. Cloud-based systems even allow you to work with remote teams across the country or from around the world.
- Get Your Phones Untethered From the OfficeIf you have a traditional phone line, someone is going to have to trudge through the snow, possibly at great risk to their safety, if you want your phones answered. If no one can get to the phones because of the snow, you’re going to have a hard time answering phones from customers asking whether the business is still open or taking messages from vendors and suppliers who need to cancel shipments.A flexible virtual phone service for businesses from AccessDirect can mean your phone lines get answered, no matter what’s happening at the office. An auto attendant answers your phone number, so customers and others can still leave messages and get information. Your team can use the system to check messages, stay in touch with customers and partners, and more. Phone calls can even be routed to your employees when they work from home, so you don’t miss a single phone call even if your office is closed!
- Think Long-Term Planning When Giving Team Members TasksWhen assigning projects, make sure everyone is clear about their tasks and plan several tasks ahead. If an unexpected event like a blizzard occurs, each team member will still know what they should be doing and can focus on doing that from home.
- Have a Snow Day Plan and a Formal Disaster Recovery PlanSnow days go much smoother when your employees know what to do. When you can communicate with each other and with customers using your virtual phone lines and email, you can stay in touch and on track. Make sure employees know what they are responsible for when the office is closed, and it will be “business as usual.”Some storms are truly natural disasters that close your locations for days or cause real havoc. Have a plan in place for severe disasters, too, to ensure you can still offer some products or services in a catastrophe if it’s at all possible. A virtual system and a virtual phone line, for example, as well as a provisional plan can help you keep your business open even when your doors are physically closed.
A Final Word
The backbone of any successful snow day is an efficient communication system. AccessDirect’s virtual phone system lets you stay in touch, no matter what the weather, requiring no IT knowledge to manage. Sign up for AccessDirect today so you’re ready for anything.