Balancing work/safety when storms hit

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in Admins,Office Management

When a storm strikes, it can be a tough call between staying safe at home or braving the weather to avoid being penalized at work. But, is there a better way for organizations to plan for storms that will keep everyone safe and free from worrying about being penalized?

That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum:

“Because it officially never closes, the company I work for makes me take a vacation day if I can’t come in due to bad weather. While everyone above the admin level can just telecommute in comfort on those days, admins of course do a lot of work with physical materials, so it’s either head out into the snow or lose that time. Does this seem unfair to anyone but me?” — Henry, claims assistant

Instead of being penalized for not going to work during bad weather, you could approach your managers about changing the policy to reward employees for going to work during bad weather. “We have the same issue in our company. … Instead of making those people take a vacation day, they’ve reversed it,” said Teresa, a reader who weighed in online. “Those of us who manage to make it in are allowed to take an extra day without recording it against our vacation.”

If a reward for braving the storm isn’t an option, you can encourage your employer to establish a telecommuting policy for all employees, including administrators. “Telecommuting is a fantastic option for administrative professionals to use during inclement weather,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs. “It allows people to stay safe by avoiding travel, attend to their personal lives and still keep up with work.”

To help admins access the information and documents they need while safely working from home, Dan Perrin, senior director of workplace recovery at Regus, recommends companies keep their data in the cloud.

“Documents and even computers and servers can be gone in an instant if your office is directly hit by a hurricane or severe storm,” Perrin says. “Cloud storage is a smart option for making sure you still have access to everything you need. This way, you can quickly recover the business from any location.”

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