It can take time for business processes to catch up with technology and with the times. Maybe your cubemate prints out every other email he receives, or your IT department struggles with security in the age of cloud data. These are both frustrating and potentially bad for business, but there’s one way in which businesses aren’t utilizing technological advances that can have an actual, serious impact on employees: according to Staples’ fourth annual safety survey, more than half of surveyed workers said they were required to come in to the office during severe weather conditions.
This is surprising, given that as many as 86% of companies already have some amount of mobile and telecommuting workers, with that number only expected to rise in the coming years. But while the majority of businesses might have teleworkers, the majority of employees don’t have teleworking options—the safety survey also found that 55% of workers were unable to telecommute.
This is an obvious safety hazard, with employees trekking to the office even in conditions where weather experts and officials warn against travel. To bring it back to business terms, however, you might also be losing productivity from workers who make that trip to the office. Between lengthy commute times, constant checking of the weather forecast, and anxiety over how they’ll get home, your workers could have been safer and more productive working remotely.
With telecommuting on the rise and technology more than ready to answer the needs of remote, productive workers, it’s just good business to have a documented, formal and well communicated plan in place for inclement weather, natural disasters, and other safety situations. Not sure where to start your plan? Check out our archives for more information about workplace safety and telecommuting.