There are unexpected situations that may arise in the life of your company. While they are unavoidable, the best way to deal with them is to have a plan of action to deal with unexpected days off. Most business owners get wrapped up in the day-to-day and do not think to plan for contingencies until directly faced with them. In this post, we will look at how you can deal with unexpected days off like union strikes or bandhs and how to create a plan to minimise the effect of these situations on your business.
- Keep employees safe and review work status: As the business owner, it can be tough to have a handle on the various facets of your business. But in case of a crisis, your primary concern for your small business should be to keep your employees safe. But this doesn’t mean that you lose sight of where your business stands, you must learn to review work reports and tasks at hand. When the unexpected strikes have a quick debrief of your team before you send them home (if it is safe to send them home). This is will give you an idea of what tasks can be achieved for your business on that day. When employees are leaving, try to have them leave in a set of two so that no one is stuck alone. Also, ensure that they inform you when they reach their home safely.
- Review conditions and shift work outside the affected zones: To complete work on schedule, your small business must shift work outside the affected zones on these unexpected days off. This will help you continue your tasks within a specific time frame and will help you complete your work on time. While you may not be able to get accurate information through traditional media, use your network of friends and family as well as the information available on social media to gauge the extent of the conditions.
- Allow employees to work from home: If your business can function away from its physical location, then as an added precaution following the strike, allow your employees to work from home. While a large number of Indian homes are equipped with the internet, ensure all your employees have properly functional internet connections. In case they do not, ensure that your office has a number of mobile internet dongles and teach your employees how to use mobile hotspots. Also ensure that you have two or three back up laptops to allow your employees, who also work on desktops the mobility they will need in a time of crisis.
- Reschedule work priority and timelines: Create an understanding with your clients in terms of shifting work priority and timelines by rescheduling your meetings. The work calendar can be reviewed by determining which tasks need to be prioritised and which ones can be shifted to another day. If you have a business that can only function onsite, e.g. a manufacturing unit, you can give employees the day off during the bandh and later increase work hours or work on a day that is traditionally off to make up the numbers for your business.
By following the four steps above, you can ensure that you do not lose out on time at work and continue to operate your business as close to usual. This will ensure that you complete work at a scheduled time and give the most important tasks the highest priority when there are unexpected days off.