How Can Managers Ensure Deadlines are Met during Downtimes at Work?

October 5, 20169:00 am1320 views

Deadlines and work pressure seem to be a never ending issue at work, thus resulting in excessive stress. Employees are expected to deliver maximum performance with minimum complaints especially on their health and fitness issues, thus creating a highly productive workforce with lower absenteeism at work.

However, changing lifestyle, workplace demands, lack of focus on healthy life habits, stress and exhaustion frequently pose employees with conditions and symptoms of sickness. This requires them to rest and time away from work for a brief period. Higher absenteeism of employees affects business productivity, cost efficiency and leads to downtimes at work.

In technology-empowered workplaces of today, technical snags and errors, server downtime affects business performance, productivity, costs man-hours and leads to delay in service delivery. Sudden shutdown of applications and servers, loss of any unsaved data and crashing of a company server affects the quality of working and delays process execution. Such errors cost companies.

Downtime experienced in processes that are expected to pace against deadlines can prove detrimental to businesses to impact productivity, efficiency, quality of work and the motivation of employees racing against time to meet deadline commitments to customers and clients.

Here are some practices, managers can adopt to ensure that deadlines are met during downtimes at work:

Encourage work from home. Sometimes it is better to have sick employees to work from home instead of insisting on their presence at office. There are diseases like influenza and other viruses that are prone to spread very quickly, even with minimum interactions. Thus, managers should encourage employees to work from home and take good rest as required. When employees are  rushing against time to meet deadlines, managers should allow them the leverage to work remotely and set aside all regular tasks to help them prioritise on the meeting the deadline commitments.

See: Know When to Promote Your Employees to Become Managers

Allow for little submission delay. Some employees take sick leaves due to severe conditions which make them unable to work, even get out of bed. Managers have no choice other than allowing them to take break from work until they are  fully recovered. It is impossible to function regular tasks when sick, however managers can create exceptions in terms of deadline submission delay under certain circumstances.

Delegate work to other employees. Delegation might be the most effective way to meet deadlines during absenteeism of certain employees at work. While there might be difference in the quality of work and timeline efficiency experienced, delegating work to other employees in the team, when one of the team member is on sick leave would help temporarily resolve the deadline issues.

Utilise a cloud provider. Transferring some private data and files to the cloud platforms, to be able to access it anywhere on the go would help employees to work even from the convenience of home, when company servers experience downtime. Storage of important documents and data on cloud has many advantages to help enable employees to maintain their quality of work, without compromising on quality, timeline, efficiencies, performance and productivity.

Provide IT team available on staff duty. Providing IT team available on staff duty enables organisations to quickly respond to technical errors, system downtime and sudden snags experienced in business process application. Having an IT team readily available to resolve technical problems and complaints, saves on time lost to arrange for an external service provider to manage and maintain the system.

Employers can also take advantage of the in-house IT team to build a secure service environment, that will protect company’s data and arrange for alternatives in case of any sudden errors. While server downtime does impact productivity and causes unavoidable delay, however some amount of work can still be executed and deadlines can be accomplished with alternative arrangements in place.

While downtime in a company is not an everyday phenomenon, but it’s required that employers be prepared for any eventualities that might occur during workings and initiate necessary action to resolve the problems immediately. Downtimes are unavoidable in every business, irrespective of the scale of operations, however preparedness to not let work suffer during such times is the key to effective workforce management.

Also read: Top 5 Clear Signs that Your Employees Need a Better Manager

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