Or at least that’s how it feels.

I feel like there is an important piece of me missing – that’s because there is an important piece of me missing! I am completely without my phone today and I am completely beside myself.

Don’t worry, I didn’t throw it at anyone or anything following a disappointing football result over the weekend. Nor have a dropped it in a drunken stupor, having drowned my sorrows following said disappointing football result. I have a wonderful flash new iPhone, and at the same time I’m transferring from one provider to the other (because the first one lied to me and I don’t like being lied to!) but something has gone wrong and the transfer hasn’t taken place. So now neither phone works, but I have to rush off to court shortly which means I have to go out without it.

Whilst in some respects it feels like the first time I left my kids at school (I know they will be fine but I will miss them terribly) in other respects it’s very liberating.  No one can phone me or hassle me about anything. I’d say it’s like being on holiday, but even on holiday you get some interruptions – I think I’ve had a call on Christmas day (from a distraught parent with issues regarding access to their kids over the festive season) every year for the last three holidays! Today, you can only email me!

Of course, it does still come with its problems. There is always the risk that I will miss out on an important new case or being able to help someone who wants some guidance. Or I could miss out on hearing from an opponent or receiving instructions from a client – hopefully when they can’t get through on my phone, they will contact the office or contact me through another medium, but it does beg the question of whether the fact that the phone isn’t working would be a defence to a negligence claim if prevented me from doing my job properly or on time.

In reality, the chances of anything going seriously wrong are actually quite slim due to the way the business is structured, but there is always a risk, which would be higher if it wasn’t my phone that was out of action but perhaps my laptop or all of my emails. The best way to avoid or at least reduce the risk is to have a contingency plan in place and consider how you would get around it. What training can you give to your staff to make sure they would know what to do if any of their equipment died? What spare/back up machines do you have, and how good are your IT support company? Is there insurance you can put in place?

And if we look even wider, what if your staff use their own equipment? What obligations are there on them to notify you if their phone is lost or damaged? What steps do they have to take to ensure your data is safe and what happens whilst they/their equipment is out of action?

Ideally this will all be covered in your contracts of employment and/or staff handbook, but if not, putting this in place could certainly help avoid you having to put your hands up and admit a mistake.

I’d tell you to give me a call if I can do anything to help, but obviously that would be a bit pointless today – but you can always email me, and I’m sure I’ll be fully operational by tomorrow.  In the meantime, you’ll probably find me at the bar, celebrating the peace.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Offering you a helping hand.