After The Freeze: How Some Georgia Employers Made Last Week “Business As Usual”
The last visible signs of Atlanta’s “Big Chill” are melting away today. And as employers finish thawing out their operations from the deep freeze, the staggering totals of a lost week of productivity are staring the region in the face: the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University reports the business community lost an estimated $300 million last week. That has many employers asking the question, “What could we have done differently to keep our business moving?”
At the same time, some employers stared down the icy mess and didn’t blink. For them, the capacity to telework made the circumstances of last week “business as usual.” Shaw Industries kept the wheels moving with a business continuity plan that included telework and had this to say:
"Having a teleworking program in place at Shaw is one of the ways we are able to help ensure the safety and well-being of our associates during extreme winter weather conditions like those we experienced this week. In addition to those associates who routinely telework as part of their normal schedule, we also asked all managerial and administrative associates in the affected areas to telework this week until they could safely get to their offices. While we temporarily closed or delayed shifts at several of our manufacturing facilities, having a telework program and the associated technology in place meant that some of our associates were also able to conduct business as usual this week from the warmth and safety of their own homes."
-- Paul Richard, Vice President Human Resources, Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
One thing we all learned last week is that the notion of preparedness is relative. There’s only so much we can control. The rest is about making the best of a given situation. And from a productivity lens, that’s what telework allowed many of us to do when we couldn’t get out of our neighborhoods.
So, to the region’s employers that are searching for ways to shore up their business continuity plans, The Clean Air Campaign has lots of relevant ideas to help you get started.