Preserving Productivity in the Workplace Through Engineering Redundancy

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The word “redundant” is rarely associated with anything positive, nor typically tied to thoughts about productivity in the workplace. And yet, redundancy as defined in engineering – including certain components as a backup – can be very important and even life-saving. Most planes have more than one engine, you have two kidneys, and if we look closely, we will see redundancy is built into many systems and aspects of life. Shouldn’t it be built into your business too?

I recently completed a handbook of sorts that covers my job duties in a “walkthrough” format. The idea was to make it simple enough that anyone in the firm could follow it, but thorough enough that it covered almost every duty of my role. Should something happen that prevents me from performing my normal job duties (being hit by a bus was the favorite hypothetical scenario for some reason), someone else now has a tool that enables them to step in and temporarily perform the tasks the business needs to continue functioning uninterrupted and to maintain overall productivity in the workplace.

Think of the key things that simply must get done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in your business.

- Is there a plan in place to deal with an event that prevents any those things from getting done?

- Is there anyone with imperative job duties that no one else knows how to do?

- Do you have someone that is “irreplaceable”?

Whether it is a backup of your database, a sharing of knowledge, or a handbook of walkthroughs for duties vital to keeping the business going, consider taking some time to preserve the productivity of your business through redundancy. Hopefully the backup is never needed, but – like a plane with two engines – it’s nice knowing it’s there.


The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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