Whether we’d like to admit it or not, winter is just around the corner. While the leaves are changing and the evenings are just the right temperature now, all of that will change in a handful of weeks, and we’ll start to see the impact winter has on businesses. Last winter, intelligence firm Planalytics estimated winter weather cost businesses $15 billion. So how can you prepare for the season and keep your office off of thin ice?
Here are four areas where you can concentrate your preparation efforts.
Productivity: Many businesses experience a summer slump in productivity. With holiday travel beginning in late November and going through the new year, there are similar challenges for businesses as winter kicks off. Make sure your workers can make the most of their time in the office with versatile work spaces and stocked breakrooms, and enable them to optimize their time out of the office with the right mobile technology.
Safety: With slips and falls coming in at #1 on OSHA’s list for workplace concerns, winter can be especially treacherous for worker safety. If you live in an icy area, be sure to stock up on salt and sand for your outdoor sidewalks, and manage the risk of ice and water on your office floors with safety signage, entryway and floor mats, and proper cleaning tools and solutions.
Wellness: A single sniffle in the office can set off a barrage of colleague complaints. While Staples’ recent flu survey found that, for the first year in five years, fewer people go into work when sick, 60% still trudge into the office while under the weather. Having the option to work remotely when sick is a good start, but you’ll still have sickly staff members from time to time. Providing hand sanitizer and disinfectants is a good place to start, and long-term changes like no-touch soap, sanitizer and paper towel dispensers in bathrooms and breakrooms can contribute to year-round wellness.
Continuity: While telecommuting is a part of boosting productivity and ensuring wellness, it’s also the best way your business has to avoid coming to a grinding halt when the weather keeps your teams off the road. With winter weather still (hopefully!) a few months away, this is the perfect time to assess your business’s technology resources and networking capabilities to determine if your most critical functions can run smoothly from remote locations in the event of an emergency. Laptops, other mobile technology, software licenses and an effective network can all ensure your business continues without a hiccup when winter weather hits.