Hurricane Sandy is currently hitting the eastern seaboard. The National Weather Service is forecasting torrential rains, massive flooding and power outages. New York, Washington D.C. & Philadelphia have cancelled school & closed their transit systems. Many large corporations told workers to stay home. In the past, work would have come to a complete halt. But many businesses are up and running due to technological advances such as social enterprise tools, cloud management systems and group communication via social media.
“Productivity matters at every business, especially startups. If our team has power, they will be working,” said Daniel Mattio, Cofounder of Mirror, a social discovery tool based in New York’s Flatiron district.
In an interview with Venturebeat, Mattio says he plans to remain in the office during the storm to coordinate workflow. He’s no stranger to running a business in a disaster, during Hurricane Irene he communicated with his CTO in Pennsylvania using Skype and asked for updates from the staff via GroupMe every three hours.
Many businesses have adopted a “business as usual” disaster plan and are using what would usually be seen as downtime as a chance to innovate & get a jump on their competition.
“We’re using this time to sneak in a few extra hours of productivity when no-one is looking,” said Jana Trantow, Cofounder of JoinFun. “We actually built our office to be a lot like an apartment, so myself and a few others are crashing there for a couple of days,” says Jason L. Baptiste of OnSwipe. “I see the hurricane as an opportunity to be heads down and get a lot of work done over the next couple of days.”
Many small business owners are expressing the same sentiment expressed by Sonu Panda, Cofounder of H.Bloom, a flower delivery service.
“It’s business as usual.”