Winter Storm Jonas. Photo: Virginia DOT
Winter Storm Jonas slammed 11 states on the East Coast last month, reminding all transportation and logistics professionals to have a plan in place for severe weather. Luckily, most of the snow fell on the weekend, minimizing the impact on carrier operations. Most brokers didn’t even miss a day of work.
Next time, you might not be so lucky. How do you keep your business running if your employees are snowed in? Below are five tips that can help you prepare for the next snowstorm—or any event that forces you and your team to work from home or a remote location. All you need is an internet connection.
1. Remotely access your company’s server – If your company allows you to remotely access its server, this will be the easiest way to work from home. Once connected, you’ll see that same computer desktop that you see at work. You'll probably need to set this up in advance, so check with your IT department now, before the next big storm hits.
2. Use DAT products online – If you can’t access your office computer remotely, you can still accomplish a lot from home. DAT Solutions products can be accessed through a web browser. DAT’s flagship load board, DAT Power, is now web-based, and it is faster than ever. Other DAT products that can be accessed online include DAT RateView™, DAT CarrierWatch® and DAT Onboarding™. And a new version of DAT’s broker transportation management software, DAT Keypoint®, is fully accessible online. DAT products are also optimized for mobile use, too, so you can work on your tablet or smartphone.
3. Keep a copy of passwords at home – At work, your computer may store your username and password, but that won’t transfer to your home computer. Make sure you keep a copy of usernames and passwords at home for DAT products or any other work-related software.
4. Use group collaboration tools – Even when you're working from home, you can communicate with your team. The web-based version of DAT Power includes new group collaboration tools that enable you to see which team members are working on which loads. You can exchange notes and status updates instantly, to prevent duplication of effort.
5. Don’t forget email – In an emergency, you can probably use your home email program to send emails. A more secure option is to access your company’s email system remotely. Your company's email will also have all the contacts and email addresses you’re likely to need. Again, check with your IT department on the best way to do this.
What about you? Do you have any tips you'd like to share on how your team can be productive while working remotely? If so, please leave your response in the comments section below.