This winter has been far from mild, and as a result, most of us have spent some time being snow (or ice) bound. Unfortunately, weather like that doesn’t typically add up to record levels of productivity. So if you spent your snow days lamenting your team’s lack of productivity, consider these ideas to keep output up next time the mercury plummets. And no, we don’t trust that groundhog!
- Give your employees the tools they need to be productive from anywhere. Equip your employees with VPN access, so they can log-in to the network and access files, even if they aren’t in the office. Add a company laptop and cell phone, and you’ve got a complete on-the-go office.
- Find a project – to go. Next time the weatherman warns of an impending weather crisis, work with employees to select a “take home” project – whether it’s a task that has been languishing for weeks or a tough new concept. If VPN access to your networks isn’t available, ask employees to take essential files in a USB drive or upload them to Google documents for instant availability.
- Communicate your expectations. When the bad weather sweeps in, communicate clearly and quickly to employees about what’s expected from them. Don’t force employees to evaluate for themselves whether or not the roads are safe to travel – indecision and frustration will cost you hours of productivity (not to mention the negative impact on goodwill).
- Skip straight to planning. When executing routine daily activities isn’t possible, turn to planning. Ask your employees to craft a plan for the next 6 months, including professional growth goals for themselves, important projects they’d like to tackle, and areas for improvement.
- Get social. If your organization is already active in social media properties, ask employees to spend the day interacting with customers and prospects on user forums, LinkedIn groups, Twitter, or Facebook. If you haven’t tackled social media yet, this is a great time to research the different social media properties and craft your social media marketing plan.
- Send ‘em reading. Got a library of business books tucked away in a corner of your office? Ask employees to select a book before they head out when bad weather is on the way. If your company doesn’t have a library of business books, turn to Amazon. With a free app that lets users read Kindle books on their PC, you can purchase business tomes like The Psychology of Persuasion and Freakonomics – so employees can expand their business knowledge and skill sets, regardless of what the thermometer says. Find the app here.