technology-impacts-business-productivity | Photo Courtesy of When employees call in sick or have to miss work because of a personal emergency, your business doesn’t grind to a halt. If you urgently need their assistance to finish a project or resolve an issue, you can probably reach them via email or cellphone. But when technology shuts down, it’s usually a big productivity problem. Even with automatic data backup, if your laptop crashes with all your current work stored on the computer, it may take time to restore your system. In the meantime, you can only do so much without that information.

A recent small business survey highlighted in an article on the FOX Small Business Center website shows that 75 percent of small business owners say technology malfunctions like crashed computers are more disruptive than sick employees. Nearly half of the 500 companies surveyed cited frequent productivity loss due to technology malfunctions, with 86 percent experiencing such a loss at least once. Office tools manufacturer Brother International Corp. polled companies with 100 or fewer employees for the survey.

As companies rely more on technology, it’s critical for a small business to fully understand the risks to its technological infrastructure and to create a plan to get the business functioning again after a disaster or technology disruption as quickly as possible. The basic elements of disaster recovery include having an off-site backup of your business data and making a plan for how you’ll communicate with customers and the rest of your company if the normal lines of communication are disrupted. Start by determining who will be responsible for communicating your company’s plan to customers and employees, and whether word will come by company-wide emails, text messages or robocalls.

Planning ahead is critical to maintaining productivity in the event of a major technical problem, and as the Brother International Corp. small business survey shows, these kinds of problems arise frequently among small companies. While no amount of preparation is foolproof, disaster planning helps your company to mitigate these risks and resume operations as quickly as possible.

Do you think that technology disruptions are more problematic than absent employees? What disaster planning tips do you feel are most important for small businesses? Share your thoughts!

Source: FOX Small Business Center, March 2013

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