Many businesses forget these nine things when closing their offices for the holidays. Done properly, your customers and vendors will be well aware of your scheduled closure days and you can avoid angry customers and upset vendors upon your return.
- Notify Customers and Vendors
Customers can be notified on your website and via your automated attendant message on your phone systems. Vendors (especially those with recurring delivery schedules) can be notified via email.
- Notify Maintenance / Security Personnel
Send a memo to your maintenance people / security services letting them know of the closing dates. Make sure your emergency contact list is up to date with key employee phone numbers.
- Notify Answering Service
If you use an answering service make sure to notify them of the dates that the office will be shut down and make sure your contact list is up to date with employee phone numbers that will be on-call.
- Change Automated Attendant Greeting
Schedule your automated attendant greeting on your phone system to reflect that the office is closed. Make sure you also state when the office will reopen. If you provide emergency services (i.e. emergency support) be sure to tell your callers how to reach your answering service or on-call employees during the closure.
- Change Employee Voicemail Greetings
If your phone system allows external calls to ring directly to your employees’ desk, then you need to make sure that they use a temporary or “Out of Office” voicemail greeting that lets the caller know they aren’t in the office. Additionally, your employees should also let the caller know when they will return and who to contact if they need immediate assistance while the office is closed for the holiday.
- Verify and Turn Off Server Backups
You should have a verified backup the day before you leave for holiday and a new one upon return. Running a backup on a public holiday when the office is closed is unnecessary: with no data being changed, a backup is not strictly required. Not only can it be unnecessary, but for businesses that use external media for their backups (e.g. tapes or external USB hard drives), it's not terribly practical either.
- Turn off Your Computers and Printers
Office workers leaving computers, printers, and other equipment powered up while closed for the holidays costs businesses $17 million per year in the United States which would be enough to roast 4.4 million holiday turkeys. Most of the energy is consumed by PC’s which represent 87% of the wasted dollars.
- Reduce Thermostat
Your business can save 3-5% on the yearly electricity/heating bill by reducing the thermostat during the days you’re closed during the holidays.
- Keep Critical Devices On
Do not turn off your phone system, servers, or fax machines.