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Like many people, I found it maddening that what amounted to an extreme game of “chicken” between BART management and its union so negatively impacted hundreds of thousands of Bay Area workers. Both sides dared the other to back down first, while each side refused to budge. Well, it looks like somebody blinked because the trains are running again.

working from homeWhile it’s great that this debacle is finally behind us, it should remind companies that they need a plan in the event that their employees cannot make it to work. Whether it’s a transit strike, inclement weather, or other events that block employees from getting to work, access to email, files and business apps will keep them productive while away from the office.

We know that BYOD provides more than eight hours of additional productivity per week as employees will normally work outside of the traditional office location and hours time frame. This same model could be used when employees cannot make it to work for whatever reason.

What’s important here is to be prepared for any situation. And in this case of the BART strike, business didn’t need to come to a halt or have major productivity hiccups if employees had a way to effectively work from home or other temporary locations. If businesses implemented a platform and process to ensure their workers had secure and easy access to 100% of their business files, employees could work remotely as effectively as if they were in the office.

Here are a few tips for preparing for these types of obstacles:

  • Enable employees to easily access their files from wherever the files are stored – in the cloud or behind the firewall
  • Ensure that users are able to use different devices for off-hours work or for business continuity
  • Provide web and/or mobile device access to email
  • Have a mobile policy in place. This way, employees will know the proper steps to take while working remotely on their devices
  • Be prepared to remotely wipe devices of everything work related including emails and business files if needed for security reasons

Most people can get by for a short amount of time with these basic tools or use them to increase productivity while away from the office. Whether your company has a telecommuting policy or not, sometimes businesses don’t have a choice if workers can make it to the office each day. So, why not put the tools in place to not only grab some extra hours of employee productivity but, more importantly, be able to have that employee work from anywhere in the event that they cannot make it to the office?

 

 

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