When the Boss is Away …

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I’ve been really sick these last two weeks — bedridden for the whole time — and I can’t remember the last time that happened. Fortunately, I’m on the mend now, but it’s been an interesting exercise, because I haven’t been missed at the office.Of course, they’ve noticed my absence, and that my work tasks have had to be delayed or delegated out; however, behind the disappointment that I’m not indispensable, I’m relieved to know that the world did not implode without me being at the coal face.So, what do I put it down to?PeopleSwitched-on colleagues who can act independently makes the world of difference.Solid systems and processesHaving clever people is one thing, but they need to know what’s expected of them, and how to complete another person’s tasks when required. Well-documented systems and processes can save your business over and over again.TechnologyMost of us take web-based mail and remote desktop access for granted nowadays; however, try working remotely without these! I never appreciated my email access until I needed it. Thankfully it all worked well, and although I was at home, I felt no disadvantage in being able to contact others.CommunicationNobody plans to be sick. Although I had a stack of meetings planned on the days I was away, telling my clients I was too sick to attend — let alone go near them — proved no barrier to business. My clients were only too happy to delay the meetings and completely understood the reasons.InsuranceLuckily, I was only off for two weeks, and there were no long-term effects, but what if it had been a major accident or life-threatening illness that went on for months? None of us like to imagine these scenarios, but it’s best to plan for them, just in case.Good planning and fingers crossed, you’ll never need to take a few weeks off sick. But if in the unfortunately event that you do, and you’ve considered all the above, you’ll be pleasantly surprised like me that you can concentrate on getting well, rather than having to put out fires in the business.

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