Winter is here, and it’s not out of the norm for unexpected blizzards to hit the East Coast. Maryland typically works itself into a frenzy any time non-liquid precipitation falls from the sky, but in the case that we may actually experience some serious accumulation from a snowstorm–stay productive and make the most of your “snow work day” with the following tips:
Regardless of your company’s protocol, it’s always a good idea to let your supervisor or your department head know that you’re unable to make it into work due to treacherous conditions. To be on the safe side, copy HR on any email correspondence.
Reschedule Meetings [If Possible]
Yes, meetings are useful to for all parties involved, but how productive can a planned meeting be if 25-50% of the attendees aren’t present? Consider your surroundings, if you’re working from home and the kids are going stir crazy it might be in your best interest to reschedule that client call at 2 PM.
Hope for the Best—Prepare for the Worst
Backup whatever files you need on an external hard drive, grab any essential documents and bring a laptop home with you [if you need to]. If you’re physically stuck at home, at least you’ll be able to contribute to the workload!
Organize Your To-Do List
No matter how well you prepare yourself, there are some tasks you just cannot complete while out of the office. If this is the case, itemize a list of tasks, complete with anyone involved and due dates for completion. This will allow you to come back to the office and hit the ground running.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable
We’d all love to veg out in our pajamas and work with our favorite show playing in the background. The problem is you’ll get distracted, even if you’ve seen the episode of The Office 10 or more times. Remember this isn’t a sick day, it’s a snow day. Not to mention, Netflix will ask “Are you still watching?” every 3 or 4 episodes, and then you will need to find the remote, click yes, and before you know it you’ve wasted 15 minutes of productivity. Music is the best solution and will helpwith concentration.
Eliminate Potential Distractions
The kids are home from school, how are you supposed to get anything done for work? Try trading daycare time with a neighbor, perhaps it’s time to entrust the oldest child with some light child care responsibility in exchange for a small fee. Worst case scenario, bribe them with extra TV or internet time to give you some uninterrupted blocks to complete your work for the day.
Enjoy the Perks of Working from Home
No commute. Relaxed breaks. No dress-code. Close proximity to other responsibilities. All these perks allow you to make the most of your snow day. Hopefully, you’ll have additional free time now that your meetings were postponed. Enjoy a healthy breakfast with the kids, throw a load of laundry in during a short break while your mind recharges, or have a snack with the kids.
Are you already attempting to work from home and are ill prepared? Take this list into consideration and formulate and executable list for when you return to the office. Speak with your IT department to make sure you can remote into your desktop, or give you access to files for projects you’re currently working on. In some cases you may be able to swing a laptop upgrade in order to facilitate the emergency scenario of working from home.