With winter well and truly on the way, we've been chatting to Director Lee Irving about how businesses can best prepare for the season. Will your business be ready for the weather, or will your customers be left out in the cold?
'When preparing for winter, businesses need to think about how both their employees and their customers will be affected,' says Lee. 'Our clients depend on us for IT support and web development, and need to know that we're only ever a phone call away - regardless of what's going on with the weather. Our customers don't stop, so neither can we.'
'Unfortunately that presents a few problems for us in winter, because sometimes people in our support and development teams may struggle to get to the office. If the snow has been heavy, getting out of your driveway can be a challenge. Some of our team ride motorcycles through winter, but if roads are particularly icy then this can be pretty dangerous.'
'Everyone at Transcendit has the ability to work from home when necessary, but during winter it becomes even more important that this works as it should. Before the bad weather hits, every person in our team takes their laptop home to try connecting from a location outside the office, so we can find out if there are any problems.'
'We've used this bad weather plan since Transcendit's inception,' says Lee. 'It means that everyone can sign in, get their work done and help our customers without battling a snow storm or risking the roads. I'd encourage every business to come up with a plan that works for their team - it's always better to be over prepared.'
How to establish your bad weather plan
1. Sort out the tech
To work from home, everyone needs access to their own laptop, so they can get to all their documents, files and programs. If you need your team to access central systems, you'll also need to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Customers also need to be able to get in touch with your team, so we use a VOIP phone system (Voice Over Internet Protocol) which allows users to load up a virtual handset when they're away from the desk.
2. Make sure it works (before you need it to)
Once you've got the tech in place, you need to make sure everything works as it should. Encourage everyone in your team to test out their laptops and phones, so you can be sure that when the weather turns bad, everyone can access everything they need remotely.
If you find that things aren't working, or people are running into problems, get your IT support team on it.
3. Keep your kit with you!
There's no use setting all this up if your team aren't taking their kit home. Make sure everyone takes their laptop home with them each evening, just in case the weather gets bad overnight. Then if the roads look particularly treacherous, your staff don't need to risk it.
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