Hurricane Sandy Forces Companies to Reconsider Telework

November 16, 2012 – In The News
Society for Human Resource Management

When Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast in October 2012, Transition Network Executive Director Betsy Werley and her four employees had to find a way to keep the business open. The small nonprofit organization near Wall Street helps women 50 and older plan the next steps in their personal and professional lives.

While Transition Network had to close its doors for several days during the hurricane, Werley and her employees worked from home using personal computers and mobile devices.

Advocates for telework plans believe that Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and other major disruptive events prove as calls to action for the acceptance and implementation of the fast-growing telework movement.

For instance, although the federal government offices in Washington D.C. closed for two days during Hurricane Sandy, about one third of government workers were able to continue working remotely.

“I think it was a wake-up call for businesses that are very information-technology dependent,” said Ian Meklinsky, a labor and employment attorney and partner at Fox Rothschild in New Jersey.

The key is to implement a telework plan prior to a disruption. According to experts, once disaster strikes, it’s really too late to devise a plan.