Winter is here and along with it is flu season, weather-related delays and all the extra commitments that come along with the new year. It is no surprise then to hear that winter can affect how a business is run and can create a hiccup in business operations by obstructing project work, delaying deadlines and impacting overall effective communication. So, just like the many have got their flu shots, wintered their vehicles and requested time off for holiday reverie, businesses should take steps to ensure that winter won't wreck their workflow.
Here are several tips and best practices for your business to consider in order to keep business moving even when the weather, runny noses and festivities encroach on day-to-day business.
You sneeze, you snooze!
Encourage staff to go home and rest if they are feeling sick. Germs are notoriously great at jumping around an office. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, presented research earlier this year citing that after four hours, bacteria on the doorknob of the front door of an 80 person office spread to about 50 percent of commonly touched areas, especially the coffee pot.
Clearly, it is important to stem the possibility of sickness at its inception. So if an important meeting or discussion needs to happen, use video conferencing or online-shared workspaces to do it. Keep workers home and promote rest to get them healthy and back in the office sooner.
Avoid the holiday hangover.
There is 60 percent reduction in meetings the day before a holiday, but the meeting bill comes due with a 118 percent increase in meetings the day after a holiday, according to Blue Jeans Network's State of the Modern Meeting data.
Meeting mania means more time taken away from tasks at hand, so space out the post-holiday meetings or shorten internal syncs if possible. Additionally, consider postponing internal committees and staff meetings until client-facing work has been re-upped after the holidays.
Video killed travel trouble.
No one wants to travel after the holidays unless it’s for pleasure. Avoid business travel by using video conferencing. Surely most would prefer to use that travel time making it to family celebrations or to visit the friends they haven’t seen all year.
Remember that business disturbances abound, especially during the winter months. But don’t think of this time as a barrier to productivity, but rather a golden opportunity to build and strengthen your first-class team. Find the tools and create an environment that promotes work-life balance while still increasing productivity.