Do you know your company’s policy on winter weather issues? Communication at work is essential to being prepared in the event that your travel is impaired during inclement weather conditions. Here are some tips for navigating Human Resources, your boss, and coworkers during winter weather season. My tip for navigating icy roads is just, “good luck!”
The first step in being prepared for potentially missing work during the winter is to read up on your company’s policies. Dig out the Employee Handbook that has been gathering dust and cookie crumbs (holiday cookies, of course) in your desk drawer. These are some of the things you will want to look for:
- Policy on pay in the event that you cannot make it to work due to winter weather
- Policy on pay in the event that your office closes
- Policy on closing offices early in the event of approaching winter weather
- Policy on holiday pay for days missed before or after a paid holiday
Of course, asking your boss, coworkers or someone in Human Resources can be equally as helpful. Communication at work can be tricky sometimes, but everyone loves to talk about the trials and tribulations of winter weather!
As a side note: there are federal and state regulations on things like pay in the event that your company offices close. For example, some states have “reporting time pay,” which requires hourly employees to be paid for a certain number of hours if they report as scheduled, even if the offices are closed. So, if your company policy seems excessively unaccommodating or strange, check to see if the policies are legal in your area.
Communication at work—with your boss and coworkers—is perhaps even more important than memorizing your company’s official policy. If winter weather seems likely to be an issue for you—if you live far away from your office, for example—talk to your boss ahead of time. Explain why winter weather might be a problem, and make a plan for your absence in advance that works for both you and your boss. Your boss wants you to make it to work in one piece, and should be accommodating in making sure that you can stay home if travel conditions are unsafe. If you know a storm is coming, strong communication at work could even help you plan to work from home that day, if your company allows it.
Communication at work could even help you avoid an absence. A coworker who has a winter-friendly vehicle (read: 4-wheel drive) might be willing to pick you up on especially bad days. Just be sure to reward him/her with gas money and/or coffee!
What are your tips for juggling work and winter weather? Leave me a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Kevin Burkett