There’s no avoiding the news reports detailing the destruction and difficulties that Hurricane Harvey and more recently Hurricane Irma are causing for all those in their respective paths. If nothing else, this reporting should reinforce the necessity for making sure that that your office is prepared to handle a disaster. Office organizing is more than just clearing off your desktop and making sure that you filed all your paperwork. It includes creating plans and strategies so that your business and staff can function efficiently during all circumstances. This is especially important during a disaster. Check out tips from this NYC Professional Office Organizer so that your office will be ready to deal with a hurricane or other disaster.
Look at your overall business functions. Take some time to dive into the inner workings of your business. Who is responsible for key functions? What equipment do you have to have in order to work? What (and who) is critical for your daily operations to occur? Focus on those areas of your business that still need to function even if a disaster was to strike. This may be billing, payroll, or delivery of products. Take the time to decide which functions are critical and then create a specific plan concerning how to keep them operational or to reinstate them.
Identify the essentials. If your office needed to be closed due to a disaster, perhaps a fire or a flood in your location, what would you do? To answer this question, identify the bare necessities required for you to do business. Perhaps you need to have a wireless internet connection, or maybe you must have access to a printer. Think about those basic needs and have an alternate location to meet for business that will fill those needs. You also need to think about any vendors or service providers that you do business with. What if they are unable to meet your demands because of a disaster? You may want to speak with your current suppliers and talk about recovery plans, or perhaps even have a list of alternate options.
Encourage your employees and team to prepare. You want your entire team to be involved with office organizing brainstorming and preparing a disaster plan. Discuss tactics with your employees and have them take part in the planning. Include opportunities for training and review so that in the event a disaster occurs, everyone will know what to do. Also, encourage your employees to create a disaster plan at home, too. In the event of an emergency that keeps them stranded at work, your team will be worried about their loved ones but more comfortable knowing that they also a plan to follow.
Communication is key. This is one of the most important pieces to your disaster preparedness plan. You must know how to communicate with your employees, clients, coworkers, colleagues, vendors, and anyone else involved with your business. You’ll need to know how to check in with them and how to share information on what is going on with the business. Have a list of all employee contact information, including emergency numbers. Decide how you will communicate news and updates with your clients, employees, and the public.
Backup your technology. Do you have a computer file backup system in place? This office organizing tip is one you should implement immediately. If a disaster occurred, how would you access important information, files, or client contacts? Explore using servers and hard drives at offsite locations, and how to save and store files in the Cloud. Check out Carbonite as an online backup service. A key part of your plan has to focus on how to address tech issues in an emergency. If you need computers to do business, think about how you will replace them or where you can borrow equipment that you might need to operate.
Creating a disaster preparedness plan is essential in office organizing. Want more hands-on help and strategies to organize your office? Reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer.