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09 Jan 2020
Traffic jams, roadworks, delays on public transport, and industrial action can all cause big problems for small businesses.
Following the month-long strike on South Western Trains in December, the government has said that it will pass legislation to make sure key transport services
such as buses and trains provide minimum levels of service, even if there’s industrial action, but this still won’t prevent traffic troubles.
Regardless of how your members of staff make their journey to work, the simplest of things can bring their magic carpet to a halt and could even make it impossible for them to get to work.
Magical reception cover
We know exactly how challenging it can be when your team members are struggling with transport. One of our London-based clients, a practice of independent financial advisors, had exactly this problem.
As members of the 30-strong team started calling in to explain their tussles with transport delays, they knew it was going to be a difficult day. However, when their Receptionist said she couldn’t get to work either, they had double trouble.
Luckily, they already used the Genie call handling service to help them out when things were really busy, so a rescue remedy was in place. We were able to take their calls, explain about the delays, and keep things running smoothly until people could make it to work.
Imagine the impact
If you have flexible working arrangements, it might be straightforward to tell your team members to work from home for the day, as long as you have the right security arrangements and policies in place.
However, for businesses that work in shifts, visit customers or make deliveries, delays can affect performance and damage your reputation. If disruption goes on for several days, it could cause you some potent problems.
While people who are persistently late for work can be pests who need to be dealt with through your HR procedures, genuine delays that are beyond your employees’ control will need a different approach.
What could possibly go wrong?
It’s worth giving some thought to exceptional events that could affect arrivals. You can create a plan that will help people to stay calm even when things aren’t running like a charm.
This could include bad weather conditions that could close roads or make it dangerous for staff to set out. An unexpectedly heavy snowfall or flooding, for example, could affect members of staff differently, depending on where they live and the route they have to travel. However, if journeys are just taking longer than normal, people should expect to set out earlier to get to work on time.
You will know about some things, like strike action, in advance. Find out which members of staff will be affected and see what alternative arrangements can be made.
However, something like a major accident that could close a road and cause congestion in the surrounding area could be trickier to untangle. Some general instructions about finding a safe place to stop and call in to work will be needed to cover these calamities.
Ideal ideas to help you manage delays
Here are some ideas to help you manage if travel is affected by slippery surfaces or slow coaches.
While the sun shines, make a note of who could be affected by different situations and what could be done to help them get to work. For example, if someone normally takes a bus to the railway station, would you agree to a taxi if the service was unavailable?
If there was strike action, could you arrange a series of pick-ups by people who normally drive to work and pay them for their extra mileage?
If you know that there is going to be significant disruption, put plans in place to prioritise activities and let your customers know what’s happening.
Make sure everyone knows what you expect them to do.
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