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Don't let load shedding cost you more than it has already!

by , 26 February 2015
Nothing frustrates me more than employees wasting time. And when the lights go out, the computers shut down and everything comes to a grinding halt, that all just adds to time wasting. So while Eskom is holding you at ransom, you're paying employees to do nothing.

What if I told you there's a way you can capitalise on these dark hours and make the most of the situation?

While I can't help you put the power back on, I can help you be proactive. Keep reading to find out how...

Nine ways to make the most of the darkest hours

Use these ideas to keep employees busy during down times:

  1. Let those that can work from home, work from home.
  2. Get sales staff to schedule appointments during black outs.
  3. Start the end of year office clean up when the power is off.
  4. Stock count/stock take.
  5. Training that doesn't require PowerPoint presentations.
  6. Do some toolbox talks with your employees.
  7. Encourage employees to take their lunch breaks during outages.
  8. If employees have accumulated leave, encourage them to take leave if there are going to be rolling blackouts in your area.
  9. Use the time for employees to fulfil your Corporate Social Responsibility during these times.
Remember, your duties under the BCEA remain in place in this time. For example the rules about overtime, working hours etc. Keep reading for three tips to help you prepare for lights out... 

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And if you don't put themt all in place by 1 April 2015, the fines you receive could shut your company down!

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Three steps to prepare for lights out

Use these three ways to prepare for load shedding:

Know when Eskom's going to flip the switch
Before you can plan anything, you need to know when Eskom plans to flip the switch in your area so you can plan properly. Go towww.loadshedding.eskom.co.za to find out.

Discuss the schedule and encourage employees to get creative
Your employees probably realise the implications load shedding has on productivity. Get creative, have a brainstorm with employees, and discuss ways you can all work to be productive during 'lights-out'.

For example, find ways to regulate work so employees can do tasks that don't need power during scheduled outages. This includes filing and having meetings during these times. Allow paid time off and make alternate plans for weekend or after hours to catch up etc…

Put it in writing
If you decide to exchange time or allow employees to work from home, have a formal written agreement in place about what you agree on, and get your employees to commit to it. This way you can avoid any conflict with employees further down the line.

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