We talk A LOT about telework as a disaster preparedness tool. (See U.K. Riots, 2012 Olympics, Snowmaggedon, NATO Protests, H1N1.) But as Superstorm Sandy subsided, I wanted to find out how it was working for some New York organizations.
I was also able to trade email messages with Kelly O’Neill a program manager with the Families and Work Institute (FWI). Headquartered in Manhattan, FWI was in the blackout area, so email and file servers were down for the week .
Luckily, says O’Neill, most of the team still had internet access and power at home. “This meant that all of our staff worked remotely. It looked a little different for each one of us depending on what kinds of services you still had available at home and the type of work you were doing,” she wrote.
Eve Tahmincioglu, another member of the FWI staff, sent this message: “When our office email wasn’t working, we were able to text each other and also utilize our own private email accounts to keep the work flow moving. I think it’s important to have some alternative ways of communicating.”
Tahmincioglu, who commutes to the city via Amtrak, had no way to get into work following the storm. Childcare was also an issue. “Given my kids were not able to go to school because of the storm, telework worked out great,” she wrote.
Among the work O’Neill accomplished from home was to draft a disaster prep plan (she acknowledges the irony) with strategies on working from home. For other members of the FWI team, the blackout was an opportunity to focus on writing and strategic thinking in lieu busy travel and meeting schedules.
Sandy and the Case for Workflex – Eve Tahmincioglu, FWI
After the Storms – a collection of stories and resources from FWI
Photo Credit: MTA Photos via flickr