Business groups like the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business have warned that the economic cost of absenteeism this week because of the snow could reach £2 billion. It was estimated that 10% of the 30-million strong workforce couldn’t get in to work yesterday and the figure is a lot higher today.
Now, we have to confess that we all took one look at the ice and snow, remembered that the Council don’t seem to grit the Jewellery Quarter to any great degree, and were grateful to have the remote IT access to be able to work from home – thanks to client teleconferences on the mobile and email communication.
So, who have been the communications winners and losers in the poor weather?
Well, BBC Breakfast today featured a caller who’d been stranded in his car all night in the south-east who was praising the local radio stations for travel and weather updates every 15 minutes.
The Met Office was apparently struggling because people failed to get into work in the snow!
Someone commented on the radio this afternoon that they had phoned their online banking service to be told there would be delays in answering their call due to the snow – at least you know the call centre is based in the UK!
Our top communications tips for these situations – be available. You don’t have to be on site – what good is a broken neck?! – but make sure that calls are being taken or redirected, that you can access your emails from home and that you have the contact details of all the people you may need to reach.
And, don’t get too stressed. If you can’t access the right document then there is always something else you can be doing and (almost) nothing in business is a matter of life or death.
Enjoy the snow and play safely!