Tips For Keeping Your Office Open During a Snowstorm

by Joanna Pineda Posted on February 16, 2014

Snowstorm Last Wednesday afternoon, with not one snowflake on the ground, schools and local jurisdictions were announcing closures in advance of Thursday’s monster snowstorm. In the past, I would gotten up early the day of the storm to make the call re: keeping the office open or following the federal government’s lead and close the office. But with all the remote technology we’ve invested in, it doesn’t make sense to close the office anymore when there’s inclement weather. While I’m sure my staff would have loved a snow day, we work so much from home these days anyway, what’s another day? Besides, our out of town clients really don’t care when the DC area shuts down, really. Here’s how we make it work:

On Friday, about half the staff came in to the office, while the other half remained at home. Honestly these days, I can’t tell half the time where people are because we do a good job of staying in touch, using our calendar and IM to broadcast our statuses, and keep work going. How about your office? What’s your policy when it snows and how did your office survive last week’s storm?


5 replies on “Tips For Keeping Your Office Open During a Snowstorm”

I think that Instant Messaging – IM – is the most critical part of work-at-home, combined with an office calendar. People must communicate their schedule and their status must be kept up to date. This must come from the top down, and it can’t be optional. I’ve known other companies where the project managers or the IT team has tried to make this happen, but the CEO/Exec took a ‘whatever works best for folks’ approach, and that meant that some of the office was on IM and some wasn’t. So it was impossible for anyone to know where anyone was or when they’d be back.

My company uses Google Apps for Business and I really cannot believe the amount of productivity it’s added. For working remotely during the winter/commuting hell, being able to connect via Google Hangouts, Google Drive, and VOIP calls through Gmail (b/c I don’t have a landline) has been so valuable.

After a quick meeting with the company board, we decided to take a different approach and close down for two days. The board said that this was a perfect time for staff and their families to get together and have some snow fun. We did not have to close down; our staff already works remotely.

I agree w/ Tanya’s post – getting everybody’s status communicated consistently throughout the day via IM is vital to successful remote collaboration.

Comments are closed.

Related Articles