In recent weeks, the UK has been brought to a standstill thanks to wintery weather from “the Beast from the East” and Storm Emma. Train delays, gridlocked motorways and empty offices were common sights across the country, with thousands of people unable to get to work because of the freezing temperatures and snow showers. It is estimated that the spell of bad weather has cost the economy at least £1bn a day, making it the most costly weather event since 2010.
Snow is not the only example of poor weather affecting businesses. Flooding is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the country, according to the UK government. Every year since 1998 there has been at least one severe flood. With around 260,000 commercial properties located in flood risk areas, it can cause huge problems. In fact, two-thirds of small business in the UK were affected by extreme weather in the last three years.
These kinds of poor weather events result in thousands of employees not able to get to work, with many depending on public transport and roads to make their journeys. According to RSA Insurance Group, on one snowy day in December 2010 up to one-third of employees could not get to work safely. Despite this, only 27% of businesses have a severe weather plan in place.
Reduce weather problems with clouds
With the advanced technology available today, there is no reason for businesses to be impacted by staff not making it into the office due to bad weather. The use of cloud-based technology means that employees can remain productive wherever they are, whether it is stuck on a delayed train or snowed in at home. If businesses are properly utilising the cloud as the powerful tool it is, then employees will be able to access their emails, files and work-related software from anywhere with a network connection.
Giving workers the flexibility to work from any location will often boost productivity and efficiency. Statistics reveal that 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels, making for happier and more productive employees. Even if businesses do not want to introduce remote working all of the time, employees will benefit from having their work on hand wherever they are such as meeting rooms and conferences as well as meaning they can work remotely in the event of bad weather.
As well as keeping employees connected from any location, using a cloud solution also gives your business added protection. When the freezing temperatures cause a pipe to burst or the heavy snow leaves you with a leaking roof, there is no need to worry about damage to your office-based server. All your businesses data is safely stored and backed up in the cloud. When the poor weather conditions result in power lines being taken out by high winds and freezing temperatures, many businesses will struggle to continue operating as normal. When your servers are cloud-based, they will not be affected by that local power cut, meaning your staff can keep on working and accessing their data.
In addition to using cloud-based applications to protect your business against severe weather, other technology such as VoIP and telecoms can also be extremely useful. You can give your employees access to their office landlines from anywhere with an internet connection with the use of VoIP and virtual numbers. As easy as downloading an app onto a mobile device, desktop phones can be seamlessly connected to a mobile device anywhere in the world, allowing your staff to continue working as normal.
There is no need to cancel face-to-face meetings because of wintery weather conditions. Software applications such as Skype allow employees to hold meetings from any location, so whether they are stuck at home on a snow day or at a standstill on the motorway, that meeting can go ahead as planned.
Get your business weather ready
Here at Cyan Solutions, we can help you to start protecting your business against the adverse weather conditions and provide you with all the information and technology you need to enable your employees to work from anywhere. Our cloud-based system can replicate a user desktop from anywhere and at any time of day, allowing real-time access to files and business apps. Our VoIP solutions are ideal for keeping your staff connected, wherever they are in the world.
It is so important for businesses to plan ahead for bad weather situations and maintain a solution that is ready to change and grow as the company does. Get in touch with us today to find out more about switching to a cloud-hosted solution and take the first step in protecting your business against the predictably unpredictable British weather.