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When Bad Weather Shuts Down Your Office, Does It Shut Down the Workplace, Too?

By the DynaSis Team

Recent weather events in Atlanta and other southern cities have reinforced to many business owners their vulnerability when workers are unable to come to the office. “Snowpocalypse 2014” garnered national headlines for good reason, with thousands of commuters becoming trapped on icy roads―some for as many as 24 hours.

However, in hard-hit Atlanta―a metropolis of nearly six million people―there were plenty of workers who did make it home―and then sat there for several days while their offices remained shuttered due to the icy conditions. In many cases, businesses that had empowered their workers for mobile productivity were able to keep running their operations. Those that did not have such a solution in place weren’t as lucky. (Note that by “mobile,” we mean “out of the office,” not necessarily using a mobile device. Mobile workers can work anytime and anywhere, on any device with Internet access.)

Gaining the ability to move workers to a mobile environment, on demand, isn’t difficult or expensive. Unfortunately, misperceptions about security, cost and complexity keep many business owners and their employees from enjoying the benefits a mobile workplace affords. A few solutions that businesses can implement quickly and inexpensively to foster mobile productivity include:

  1. Hosted Microsoft Exchange: Moving from Outlook or some other locally hosted email platform to hosted Microsoft Exchange at the corporate level gives workers secure, remote access to email messages, contacts and calendars via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop―or their home PCs. With this solution, workers can send and respond to emails, reach out to customers as needed, and perform other basic communications tasks.
  2. Cloud-based data and application hosting: If company staff can’t access or work with files remotely, storing company data―and possibly applications―on cloud-based servers will power worker productivity. With access to appropriate corporate files, employees can write, edit and send documents, stay abreast of accounting tasks, enter and process orders, send and receive contracts, and perform other important work.
  3. Locally based cloud hosting: For companies that want to (or must, for some reason) keep their data and applications hosted in-house, specialized software agents can turn those on-premise servers into cloud servers, affording workers access over the Internet (provided the company’s servers and Internet connection remain up during an outage). A solution like this provides the same benefits as a cloud server without the need to migrate data and applications.

While most companies cannot stay 100% functional with these solutions, they can operate at a level that maintains customer service until workers return to the office. They can also avoid the additional lost productivity that usually results when workers begin processing the backlog of work when the office reopens.

So, where were you during Snowpocalypse 2014? Did your office stay open or did you close? If you were closed, were you prepared to keep key workers busy during at least part of the unscheduled closure? If the answer to the last question is “No,” fill out our inquiry form or give us a call to learn more about solutions that ensure next time, you’ll be ready.

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