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How to prepare your business for snow days

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The winter months can bring a host of unpredictable weather systems, and one very costly example for the economy is snow. In 2016, New York saw one of the most extreme winter storms of the past decade. Winter Storm Jonas threatened substantial economic losses for the city with impassable roads and business shut down predicted to cost up to $3billion. Research carried out by IHS Global Insight also showcased that a single day shutdown in the city would cost around $700.17 million with other cities facing similar losses due to bad weather*.

In many states, the white stuff simply can’t be avoided, but how much impact it has on your business is an element can now be planned for in advance. Covering the foundations of your building such as checking for structural damage and protecting pipework before a storm can help prevent costly damage.

Additionally, by having contingency plans in place, winter storms don’t have to mean days lost or interrupted operations. There are several aspects to consider when preparing your business,so take a look at some of the main areas to cover below to reduce its effects on productivity.

Cloud technology

Many businesses are moving business data to The Cloud. This innovative and flexible way of storing company files and information enables your employees to access it from anywhere in the country or world. This is ideal for organizations that have workers who are unable to make it to the office on snow days.

To plan ahead, ensure each member of staff has a computer at home or a laptop they can use on the go, and make sure thatthey can simply and securely access files and emails. Your business could also set up a VPN to extra add security to your cloud-based infrastructure.

VoIP phones

Using a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system within your business provides a way to answer calls without being in the office. If snow days prevent staff getting to work, phones can be taken home by the team, a desktop agent (think the call comes through your laptop!) can be used or calls can be diverted to another phone or team members cells!

The main benefits of VoIP for remote working include:

·      Call forwarding – Any incoming calls to your office can be transferred to another IP desk phone or a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.

·      Conferencing feature – You can still communicate face to face with employees via web conferencing calls that feed through to computing or mobile devices at home.

·      Auto-attendant– If you receive a high number of calls, an auto-attendant can be set up to advise callers of weather disruptions, which helps to manage expectation.

Backup power

During and after winter storms, there may also be cases where your power or systems are experiencing downtime due to external issues. To keep everything running smoothly, using back-up power (such as a generator) will provide a temporary source of electric to ensure daily operations can continue with fewer interruptions.  

For more information on how to winter-proof your business, take a look at our cloud computing and VoIP services to guarantee continuity across your organization before the next winter storm. Request a quote today to find the best deal for your business.



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