Everyone in the Metro D.C. area watched with astonishment as one of the largest public transportation services in the United States came to a grinding halt on March 16, 2016. For 29 hours, the 600 rail cars of the Metrorail system were shut down for an emergency power cable inspection.
This led to thousands of people stranded without a way to their jobs and left traffic snarled on the Beltway for hours. Federal workers were encouraged to take the day off. Schools were excusing tardiness and absences due to the lack of school buses. Ride sharing programs did little to curb the issues as the Beltway stood at a standstill for most of the morning.
This shutdown shined a light on the aging public transportation system and the troubling realization for businesses that a major disruption like this can completely destroy productivity. Other cities, like San Francisco, had their public transportation spokespeople out on social media also talking about the issues that they are facing as well. Yesterday might have seemed like a freak occurrence, but all it would take is a major weather event like a blizzard or major flooding to cause a similar shut down of the city again.
Businesses are only as strong as the people who work for them. If the workforce is unable to participate due to factors outside of their control, it can ruin not only the short term, but the long term plans of a company as well. That is why it is important to have a way for employees to still be able to access crucial information and data from their home through the use of remote access.
If you were one of the companies that did not have a way for your employees to access data, files or other applications through remote access, you might as well have shut down your business for that day. Workflow is determined mostly by the access of crucial data and not having that is damaging to the bottom line.
So if you are a business in the Washington D.C. area, it is very important that you start planning ahead for these kind of issues by setting up your computer networks for outside access. This will give your employees the opportunity to still be productive even if they can’t make it to work for circumstances they can’t control. It will help you stay on top of your workflow and keep your employees in the loop. It will also give you a competitive advantage over companies that do not have remote access, helping you become a leader in your marketplace.