Prepare Your Workflow for a Snow Day
So you may live in an area that hasn’t gotten much snow yet this year, or maybe you’re already a Snow Day Pro. This article has a lot of good information for having a productive workflow from home on a Snow Day, but really applies to any inclement weather situation (many employees were displaced after their offices were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, so that came to mind as well). Regardless of the situation, it’s always best to be prepared!
Once upon a time a snow day meant a reprieve from the labor of school and a day of freedom. As an adult, a snow day can still be fun, but it also throws a wrench in your work.
Don’t let a snow day—or any other kind of inclement weather day—throw your workflow out of whack. A little bit of preparation and planning can ensure a snow day is a fun chance to work from home instead of a headache that follows you through the rest of the month. The following advice would serve you well all year long, but especially when a winter storm could keep you home bound and your productive workflow at risk.[wpob id=”2″]
Have a Life Line: You need a way to work outside of the office. Whether this means being able to log into your corporate intranet from home or having your work laptop with you will depend on your work. Nonetheless you need to have both the necessary lifeline and the ability to use it. It won’t do you any good to be able to work from home if you’ve never actually tried out remote computing. The day you’re snowed in with deadlines looming and a mess back at your office is not the day to find out that you don’t actually know how to remote into your workstation. You might want to take a peek at the top five remote desktop tools, how to maintain a consistent workspace across multiple computers and free ways to synchronize folders between computers. Even if you don’t make it a habit to work outside of your office—good for you, excellent work-life balance!—it pays to be prepared to do so.
Don’t Leave a Disaster: You start off Monday on the wrong foot. You leave a wreck at your desk and a bunch of unprocessed notes tossed into your inbox to deal with later. A blizzard rolls through and you’re essentially locked out of your own office for 2 days while municipal services beats back Old Man Winter to free the city. By the time you return, the unfinished business of Monday has become the enormous pain in the ass of Thursday. What kind of work it will take to leave your office in an “At Ready” state to tackle the next work day—weather interruptions or not—depends on your work and how big of a mess you kick up every day. Taking a few minutes at the end of each work day to get things in order for the next day and not leave any unaccounted for business will make the next day go smoother, even more so if the next morning in the office gets delayed on account of snow.
Know Your Work’s Inclement Weather Policy: Educational institutions like high schools and colleges tend to have extremely clear cut inclement weather policies. Many corporations unfortunately do not. Check with your human resources department to see if your company has one. Inclement weather policies generally cover information like what would trigger an automatic closure of your office and so forth. If your company doesn’t have a policy, it would be a goo idea to bring it up at your next meeting and hash out with your boss what the informal policy will be. CONTINUE READING…
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Cathy Sexton, St. Louis
Cathy is available for staff training, lunch and learns, as a conference or program speaker, facilitates workshops on improving productivity, time management training, organization skills improvement, workforce development, process improvement, email management, goal setting, staff and individual coaching.