Normally the classic line in a bad horror film, so what do we mean here?
The bad (or should I say worse) weather, of course. The leaves are already here and the snow may be coming.
Now if you’re from one of the Scandinavian countries, or anywhere on a similar line of latitude, you’ll be choking on your latte about now. After all, there’s no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing surely.
For us in London and the South East, it’s not the clothing that’s the issue (although the extremes of heat we face between outside and on the tube/bus/train does make things complex), it’s public transport and their ability to generate excuses as to why they cannot possibly run on time. There’s a good list here but our personal favourites are the classics: “the wrong type of leaves on the line” and, of course “the wrong type of snow”. Of course, there are different types of snow but it’s still a poor excuse.
Anyway (as usual), we digress. What is this blog all about: business continuity plans and how to avoid having to deal with our “friends” at TfL and their minions.
I am sure you are aware of the requirement to review all requests for flexible working arrangements when they are made by your staff. If you have already implemented this across your workforce, to be honest you can return to work now as you’ve probably done everything I’m about to talk about. If not, stay with me just a little while and let’s look at the two key issues:
1. Can your staff take landline calls on their mobiles?
At the very least ensure people can auto divert any calls to their landline to their mobile. This can often be done on individual handsets, although some phone systems will require you to make changes in the portal. Ideally there will be an app on their smartphone so they can work anywhere with a WiFi signal, be that at home (didn’t go out to face the transport excuses), at the station (got stuck because of the excuses) or in a coffee shop/pub (can’t get home because of the excuses). Although they may not be as productive as they could be, they can do some of their work this way.
2. Can they access data?
I’m assuming your staff have their email going to their phone, whether it is BYOD or a company phone, so at least they can get some of their data and respond to queries. But can they get to the rest of the information they need? Although they may not need a laptop for work, having an ability to get to your files from anywhere will enable them to do almost all their work. Of course, a cloud-based IT solution will provide all of this, but there are plenty of options for local infrastructures too. Remote Desktop Services, from Microsoft, is one solution as is Citrix.
If your staff can access data and make calls, they will be productive, even if not in the office. If you are concerned your staff cannot do these, let’s talk and ensure they can.