Published on Dec 21, 2015

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The countdown to Christmas is on!

In the lead up to the break, Santa isn’t the only one who should be checking his list twice. From keeping customers informed through to averting potential IT disasters, every business should have a Christmas checklist in place.

THE BASICS

Informed customers are happy customers. Make sure you use every channel to let your customers know if and when you will be open over Christmas and New Year – post on Facebook, put on an out-of-office automatic reply on your email and update your phone message.

While the cat’s away…don’t let the mice play! Make sure all perishable items are cleared out before you shut the doors on 2015. In fact, why not take the opportunity to defrost the freezer and clean out the pantry?

Waste not, want not. Empty buildings don’t need lights or air-conditioning. Think about turning off all non-essential services over the break to save some money and avoid any short-circuit disasters.

IT

Back it up! Avoid an IT disaster by ensuring all your systems are backed up, safe and secure. Trevor Smith from Comptronics here in Cessnock shares some of his top holiday shutdown tips for computer systems.

Workstations

  1. Log off from Windows, and log off and sign out from online services.
  2. Shutdown your computer off and make sure the power light is off. Trevor says your computer could remain on or in power saving mode, or otherwise active when unplugged if you don’t make sure it is off and not waiting for input.
  3. Most modern offices and workplaces have UPS and surge protection. But Trevor warns it is also a good idea to keep completely safe by unplugging your devices from the power outlet if it is not going to be used for an extended period of time.

Servers

Trevor advises if the system is not being used during the break it is best to follow the instructions for workstations on these systems, too. Trevor says to keep in mind that some organisations will need servers to remain on, and to always consult your systems administrator before accessing server systems or if you have questions regarding which systems should or should not be shutdown.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Who has the keys? It’s a given the doors will be locked and security systems enabled. But it’s also important to check safes, filing cabinets and desks drawers – anywhere that holds important, valuable or confidential information should be secured. Take a key inventory; who has them and what can they access with them. And, don’t forget the toilet window!

STAFF

Public holiday pay. Not all businesses close over Christmas and New Year. If you are open and employ staff, make sure you correctly apply any Public Holiday entitlements. Find out more at the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Got a great tip for businesses to prepare for holiday shutdowns?  Share it in the comments, and download a handy checklist here.

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