The upcoming winter months can be a cause for concern to many business owners. When severely bad weather strikes, it leads to travel disruptions and childcare issues. This means individuals may struggle to get into the office. Whether you and your staff take the public transport or drive to work, snow laden roads can make travel quite dangerous. Individuals with children may struggle to find childcare due to school or nursery closures. If staff are unable to get to work, how will you continue to operate your business?
As a nation with unpredictable winter months, we really should be prepared for anything.
Which brings me to a very important question. Do you have a Winter Risk Management Plan in place? A back up plan to keep your business moving no matter what the weather is outside? If you’ve said no, it really is a good idea to have one in place. It doesn’t have to be a hundred pages long. A short and simple plan should suffice for most businesses.
Here are a few things to consider when creating your plan:
- Prepare for snow and ice removal – we don’t want anyone getting hurt because they slipped on some ice. Safety first!
- Backup generator – if there’s a blackout, a back up generator should keep things going for a while.
- Prepare your staff – communicate potential weather emergencies with your staff. If they know it’s going to snow heavily for the next couple of days, they can plan ahead.
- Have emergency contacts in place – an Office or HR Manager usually make a good emergency contact to report staff absence.
- Offer the option to work from home – if staff can access their computers remotely, that’s great! If not, at least make sure they have access to emails.
- Create an online meeting room for your team – Skype, appear.in and Zoom are great ways to hold online meetings without breaking the bank.
- Telephone redirection – set up a divert on your office line. Most telecom companies now offer this as an option. You should be able to contact them and set up a manual divert or do it online, depending on your provider.
- Most importantly, have emergency support in place, such as a virtual assistant or casual workers through a recruitment agency.
Winter is coming… so be prepared!