The almost unimaginable just happened here in Atlanta Georgia, I85 Northbound and Southbound a major artery in the traffic system in metro Atlanta was closed due to a fire and collapse on the northbound side. At the same time it instantly added challenges to an already brutal commute for businesses, employees and workers, one of the nation’s top 4th worst commutes and 9th in the world (Source http://inrix.com/scorecard-city/?city=Atlanta%3B%20GA&index=9).
Immediately I saw the need for utilization of technology to alleviate some of the immediate challenges in businesses continuing to work through what is sure to be months of construction. As a telecommuting advocate, the need for our businesses to capitalize on the human capital of employees and utilization of their time is a sermon I preach often and the numbers don’t lie. In metro Atlanta the average daily commute is 60 Minutes (Source Atlanta Daily World https://atlantadailyworld.com/2015/06/30/atlanta-commute-time-higher-than-national-average/) that means that people spend roughly 250 Hours a year in their cars (Source Inrix http://inrix.com/scorecard-city/?city=Atlanta%3B%20GA&index=9). This time is valuable as it could be spent with family more time working anything other than a frustrating traffic induced car ride. It really is time for businesses to embrace telecommuting as an option for their employees even if it’s just a couple of days a week. Let’s look at some of the numbers. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Telecommuters log five to seven more hours per week than non-telecommuters, often working even when they’re sick or on vacation.” Of those who work remotely at least a few times per month, 77 percent reported greater productivity while working offsite; 30 percent said they accomplished more in less time and 24 percent said they accomplished more in the same amount of time (Source SHRM https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/technology/pages/teleworkers-more-productive-even-when-sick.aspx)
Technology has now evolved where you can run your business from anywhere in the world. VoIP (Voice Over IP) allows you to answer calls on your laptop, cellphone tablet, and transfer those calls to improve the effective communication to your customers, prospects and employees. The key to being able to take advantage of this level of technology and proficiency is to create processes within your business and then utilize systems to maximize those processes to achieve your ultimate success within your business.
If you have never built a process flow for your business I encourage you to do so. There are a number of Mind Mapping tools out there to allow you to create a map of what happens when someone call, emails or walks into your business. Once you have completed these flows you can then look to systems to automate some or even all of your processes. Most of the time businesses attack some of the most important ones first like sales. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the big ones that businesses attack first. Wherever you start is a great place and you will find this to be an eye opening experience as you talk with your team and various stakeholders in your business.
In the end even though this event is difficult for the city of Atlanta there are some lessons to create a more virtually flexible, global business by thinking outside the constraints of physical walls or roads.
Robinson Consulting provides businesses with technology solutions designed to grow their businesses. Schedule a no cost Business Efficiency review today here.