It’s approaching that time of year again – Christmas! The holiday season will soon be upon us, and many offices may have already started to wind down for the Christmas period.

But, when leaving the office for a week or so over the festive season, do businesses consider the importance of a proper IT shutdown? Preparing technology and software for the break doesn’t need to be a big issue, but it does need to be considered, in order for a business to perform effectively over the break – easing them back into work come January 2013.

To help businesses prepare fully for this winter, we have compiled a handy guide to help with the Christmas close.

Is the IT properly backed up and secure?

Ensuring a IT has a backup system is vital, during all 12 months of the year. However, during closedowns like Christmas, a backup will be working without anyone in the office to supervise. Testing backups and assessing that it works properly, is key to a productive return to the office in the New Year. Implementing a disaster recovery plan can doubly protect software and content, should an error ever occur.

Automating any processes?

The office will be empty for a week or so, but do customers and clients know? Doing something as simple as setting up an ‘out of office’ email reply can relieve any panic from customers who fear they aren’t receiving a reply. Set your phone lines to automatically pick up as voicemail, and check that the voicemail inbox is empty, in order to store as many messages as possible. Some IT systems and software also allow users to automate processes, enabling greater efficiency. Automating any labour intensive tasks can improve productivity, even when in the office, too.

Do you work out of the office?

Throughout the year, some of employees may work out of the office. They will rely on laptops, tablets or smartphones to keep in contact with the office, but what if there are less staff working, because it’s Christmas? Some pieces of software integrate a mobile app into their features, meaning employees, who work out of the office, can still remain proactive during the festive season, without needing to rely on support staff, in house. Being mobile can also help employees who might be restricted by the weather. If it snows, and they aren’t able to get into the office then a easily accessible Mobile app could really help, ensuring continuity in your business practices.

Continue reading, check out our blog post New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success

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