By Russ Levanway
In this new year, we will all experience obstacles; some that are meant to be overcome, and others that are not. El Niño is a good example of an immovable obstacle that is currently upon us. Here in California, we’ve eagerly anticipated these storms for a long time, but a weather pattern like this can still be very disruptive. There will be power outages, flooding, travel dangers, and delays – all of which impact our business and yours.
Flexibility for the Win
While it’s commendable to fight hard and overcome obstacles, a different approach is needed to handle the immovable variety. In the case of El Niño, flexibility and patience are required to weather the storm with grace. At TekTegrity, we keep it flexible so we can adapt to what’s likely to occur over the course of the next several months, and we have 3 great tips that will help you think flexibly for your own business.
- Plan with the whole system in mind. As a multiregional company, we have a phone system and general system designed to pick up the slack in the event of a regional outage. It’s important to maintain continuity to our clients; even if response time is affected by bad weather, we’re still up and running because we’ve created an environment in which a geographical issue in one place doesn’t take down the whole company.
- Establish remote access for your employees. Despite our renewed sense of responsibility to sharing face time with clients, when it comes to travel safety, we don’t ask our staff to brave extreme weather to go onsite when the work can be done remotely. Most work that our technical staff has to do can be done securely from a laptop. By extension, remote access can be used in inclement weather to enable your employees to work from home.
- Develop boundaries. In general, our policy is to be as flexible as possible with employees whenever the unexpected occurs. Doctor’s appointments, family emergencies, and sick kids impact even the most organized of people. That being said, we at TekTegrity have been around long enough to know that there are times throughout the year when all hands simply must be on deck: the first week of the new year and late August when students go back to school. Historically, we’ve seen that our clients need us more during these times, and thus, we black those two weeks out for vacations and non-critical time off to ensure that clients receive a high level of service and that employees don’t have to pull double-duty.
Room to Breathe
It pays to plan and it pays to be flexible – two seemingly contradictory approaches that actually work together for everyone’s benefit. Stuff will always happen – give yourself the margin to adapt when things go wrong; if you run your business to the bone all the time when the unexpected happens, you won’t be able to respond. Without a substantial margin of time, energy, protocol, and budget, people burn out, safety is risked and cash runs low.
Whether it’s fire, theft, El Niño or a computer virus, aim to allow your business the flexibility it needs to weather the unexpected.