Today’s post, by Christy Runningen, discusses the topic of workplace emergencies. As she puts it, these “fire drills” are usually accommodated immediately, but there is a way to prevent the commonplace role in which they play in the office.
You have probably heard this expression, or some variation of it: ‘Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!’ Right? Every time I talk about this in a workshop, most people in the room begin to nod and smile because we have all dealt with these emergencies, things we call fire drills, in our careers.
One of the ROWE Guideposts is “No More Fire Drills.” Well, that sounds great, people say, but it is not realistic. “In OUR business, there will always be fire drills! Our customers come to us with a last minute need, or the boss just had a great idea that would change the course of the project, or I just realized I needed something from a co-worker and she had to drop what she was doing to help me.”
Realistically, there are some actual last minute emergencies for which you couldn’t plan ahead. There are undoubtedly going to be times when an unexpected issue arises and people must rally around it to get results. But here at Culture Rx, we firmly believe that many of the fire drills that happen at work are simply due to lack of planning. Think about all the work emergencies you deal with daily: is there any way it could have been avoided? By reaching out to people for help before a deadline is in jeopardy, or by thinking upstream about everything that will be needed for a particular issue, maybe you can avoid one of these last-minute emergencies.
Imagine how much more energy you and your co-workers will have if most fire drills are cut out of your work day. You might even have time to (dare I say it?) get AHEAD on your work. And what a great thing that would be! Onward, ROWE friends!
Christy, once a “lifer” in Corporate America, has now joined the ROWE movement. At Best Buy, she was fortunate to live the ROWE lifestyle for 4 years and is now manic about getting everyone across the globe living the dream. She comes armed with MA in Counseling Psychology, BA in Child Psychology, and is SPHR Certified.