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Professional pointers: Managing disruptive weather

Professional pointers: Managing disruptive weather

With the colder months of the year we’ve come to expect some disruptive weather from time to time. But how can you ensure icy conditions and public transport delays don’t hamper your business’ productivity and employees’ focus?

Cari Kirby, one of Tech North’s ‘Northern Voices’ and a keen champion of parent-friendly and remote working, gives some advice on keeping your team connected – even if they can’t make it to the office on time.

“I am a big believer in flexible working – we all have lives outside the office which don’t always conform to the nine to five,” says Kirby. “Businesses who embrace remote working and flexibility will reap the rewards of increased productivity and loyalty and it may just mean an edge against your competitors when attracting and retaining talent too.

“However you feel about it, with the winter months approaching you might not have a choice but to embrace it as we set in for dark, frosty or snowy mornings. Rather than battling with an extra-long commute and looking out of the window all day worrying about the return journey after work, your staff are safer (and more productive) staying at home.

“There is a wealth of tech that you can integrate into your business to make that easier.

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“The more of your processes and documentation that are cloud-based or remotely accessed, the better. A few examples include Google Drive for file hosting, Basecamp and Trello as project management tools and HighRise as a CRM (customer relationship management) system.  Plus there’s email, Skype or Google Hangout and the good old mobile phone for comms.

“There are so many others to investigate and work out which is best to implement for your business but a tech stack like this means you can access your work and be part of the team from anywhere that has an internet connection.

“One thing you can’t download or buy online though is trust, which is vital if this is going to work.

“Managing that mindset comes down to culture and communication. Make sure you set deadlines and keep communication channels open – as long as everyone is talking to each other, deadlines are being met and work is being done, what does it matter where you are?”