Winter is here. If you live in an area that experiences snow storms, chances are that these disruptions adversely affect your organization’s efficiency at least a few days of the year. With reduced staff, projects are slowed down, meetings and tasks get cancelled, and your customers have a more difficult time getting a hold of your team. Severe weather makes it more difficult to distribute products or provide services, and slows down the delivery of critical inventory and supplies. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up on all business productivity on snow days.
In this day and age, your businesses should not be at the mercy of weather and come to a complete standstill if employees are unable to make it to the office. Technology now enables your team to carry out their job, regardless of their location. With more flexible working conditions, your team can stay efficient during bad weather, as well as if the case of an injury or illness.
Adopting a technology-driven approach keeps your team connected during storms and can go a long way in safeguarding your business from the damaging effects of unexpected downtime.
A cloud-based phone system is not just a reliable office-based communication tool. It can provide your employees with unlimited mobility, whether they need to work from home, a coffee shop, or on the go. Cloud phone solutions include desktop and mobile applications that allow your team to make and receive business calls using their office extension from their laptop or mobile device. With a unified system, your team can work from home during bouts of bad weather and present a cohesive, professional company image at all times.
When members of your team become temporarily unavailable, you can rely on the features and settings of your phone system to ensure that no client or partner calls remain unanswered. Setting an Auto-Attendant when your front desk staff is unavailable helps redirect customer calls to the appropriate department, allows callers to leave messages and ensures a prompt, professional response 24/7. Cloud-based solutions also make it easy to reroute all incoming calls to another office location or call center whenever bad weather forces you to close down the entire branch.
While telecommuting is becoming increasingly widespread, most employees still work from brick-and-mortar offices. When severe weather takes them by surprise, they do not have the tools in place to successfully complete their tasks from home. Moving your company resources to the cloud can prevent this problem and enhance your business productivity on snow days. Resources such as project management and sales portals, databases, CRM tools and files stored in the cloud can be easily reached from any location, enabling your team to move forward with pressing projects whether they make it to the office or not. In addition, cloud-based technologies allow you to connect your resources and create a comprehensive online ecosystem of tools for your team that aligns with your unique business processes.
Online business collaboration tools enhance business productivity on snow days by providing your employees with a wide range of communications tools from chat messaging and video conferencing to screen sharing, file editing capabilities and multimedia annotations. All your staff needs to utilize them efficiently is a computer and an internet connection. When dangerous storms or heavy snow prevent your team from an in-person discussion, web-based collaborations tools can provide a comprehensive meeting venue, as well as file and task management capabilities that ensure that everyone is on the same page. Such software extends your organization’s reach to clients, partners and suppliers as well, ensuring that no relationships are affected by a lag in communication.
Many companies find business collaborations tools to be an excellent investment even in areas not afflicted by disruptive weather patterns. They represent a time- and cost-efficient alternative to in-person meetings, and provide teams with the real-time task and file management capabilities needed for efficiency.
When projects need to move forward and clients or partners expect an immediate response, businesses need to make sure they can remain open and functional even in the face of unexpected conditions. Maybe this latest bout of bad weather will provide some businesses with the incentive to take a fresh look at their operations, and find better alternatives to their communications systems that not only protect them from losses incurred during employee downtime, but that give their staff the flexibility they often need to be at their most productive.