Don’t let bad weather grind your business to a halt

14th February 2018

For many corners of the globe (namely in the Northern Hemisphere) it’s that time of year when poor weather has the potential to cause disruptions aplenty, whether that be down to ice, heavy rain, gale force winds or the dreaded snow.

This can cause businesses owners a lot of anxiety as you wonder how and if your employees will make it into work, even more so in the geographic locations where this weather is inevitable. Keeping things ticking over from a business perspective can be a nightmare during this time of year when there may be one or more spates of weather that quite literally stop people in their tracks.

So, how can this be avoided? We are advocates of flexible working and find that in a whole host of situations, not least when the weather is terrible, it can save things from grinding to a halt.

Here are some ways you can use flexible working all year round, but specifically at this time of year when the weather poses a risk:

  1. Communication. Utilise an instant messaging system (such as Skype) so that quick messages can be popped to each other in a conversational way, even when you are not together face-to-face. This can be used on top of email, as instant messages are less likely to get lost in a busy inbox and can be used in a chattier, more colloquial way than the more traditional and formal (in relative terms!) email.
  2. Technology. Ensure that there is a way for employees to access their emails and files from outside of the office network. If you need to enlist the help of an IT professional to organise this then so be it – the initial expense will be worth it when homeworking can sometimes replace absences.
  3. Weather forecasting. If during the working day a bad forecast appears for tomorrow, encourage staff to take their laptops home with them so that they needn’t worry about driving into work the following day if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
  4. Don’t get stuck. If bad weather arrives during the working day encourage staff to leave early before it gets worse. They can continue working when they get home or make up the hours elsewhere.
  5. Avoid the rush. If weather-related travel disruption is worst during the morning and/or evening rush hours, allow staff to alter their working hours so that their journeys avoid these times.

There is something to bear in mind with flexible working, however; with employees having the potential to work from anywhere and at anytime, it can be a challenge to keep track of everything and everyone. Accurate record-keeping is of the essence because if you fail to do this then it’s likely that payroll mistakes will be made. Don’t be overwhelmed by this though, as excellent payroll software is out there that can take care of this for you. Learn more about what we can do for you here.