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Telework Means Snow Days Are No Reason to Miss Work

A new survey shows that snow days can be just as productive as regular working days.

When we were kids, a snow day meant a reprieve from work and a day of play. As an adult, snow days don’t pan out quite the same. In addition to shoveling the driveway, most employees are expected to continue their work in some form or fashion, thanks in large part to the rise of teleworking.

The question for many managers and executives who resist teleworking on snow days is whether or not workers can be as productive on snow days as they are on regular workdays. InterCall, a conferencing-technology provider, surveyed 200 workers in areas often hit by heavy snow to get a sense of how they dealt with snow days from a work perspective.

The good news is that 79 percent of the respondents said they work from home on snow days, which means most workers aren’t out there braving the elements. Only 15 percent of workers said they trudge to the office.

When employees do work from home, they rely quite heavily on email as their method of communication with coworkers and bosses, which isn’t surprising. According to InterCall’s survey data, 93 percent of respondents said they communicate via email. Admirably, though, 54 percent said they communicate through chat or instant messaging, which allows for more real-time collaboration.

In terms of getting the job done, workers are optimistic about their ability to remain productive while “the weather outside is frightful”: 65 percent of respondents believe working remotely during a snow day would have minimal impact on productivity.

No word yet on whether managers agree with that assessment, but it’s good to know that a little snow doesn’t necessarily mean that workers feel paralyzed, with no way to work.

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Feb 11 2015

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