Sunday, November 29, 2020

Insights for businesses looking to persevere through winter

It is that time of year again where businesses need to protect their premises and operations from the more turbulent colder seasons.

The Met Office has issued an official weather warning, with freezing temperatures set to sweep across the UK, which will inevitably cause disorder and disruption to business activities if ignored.

There are many moving parts for companies to grapple with here in order to ensure their ventures run smoothly without any incidents. The risks are many, and there’s no margin for error.

Prior to lockdown the hospitality industry was preparing for winter to varying results, with pubs in particular inviting those working from home to work on their premises in exchange for a small fee. Other restaurants were installing in-built heaters in their parasols, to make better use of their outdoor spaces where typically, in winter, these spaces would obviously experience a decline.

For survival, businesses will either adapt, or wither away after what has already been a punishing series of months.

Just as they have every year, businesses are mobilising to combat the harsher weathers, auditing and budgeting so that they can dedicate the right amount of spend to any preventive measures. After all, if working from home can add considerable costs to the fuel bills, the expenditure businesses face every winter will be considerably more if they are to keep workers warm and well-lit through the long, dark weeks ahead.

The expenditure is not just confined to indoor spaces either, but also in areas like the company car parks. Ice patches on the premises can lead to extreme misfortune if somebody slips and hurts themselves. Without something like public liability insurance to cover the cost of compensation, sizeable lawsuits can start flying almost immediately, leaving some businesses damaged beyond repair. Pay outs can be crippling, and reputations can lie in tatters.

Additionally, hefty lawsuits can follow with incidents on the roads, too. To combat all of this, many companies will be clamouring to use high-quality gritting services. Hill View Farm, for example, helps businesses keep the rural roads to their premises or private land well maintained to prevent accidents. The company endeavours to get ahead of any adverse weather conditions, ensuring that anyone from staff to emergency responders can come and go from a business premises safely. Such services undoubtedly become a priority when winter rolls around.

Safety precautions will undoubtedly take precedence, with emergency exits and monoxide levels in workplaces all being under constant review and testing. Winter brings many dangers, so sharp response times and acute emergency preparations are all key to ensuring a firm can get by comfortably without risking the wellbeing of staff. Office supplies and equipment may also be used up more rapidly, requiring more dedication to ensuring that everything is well stocked.

Of course, if there is heavy snowfall, many firms will instead direct employees to work from home. But is this possible everywhere? Can the workers feasibly do this? Do they have the right equipment, software, and everything they need to do their job? These kinds of questions are being asked more than ever today, as this year has seen a steep rise in the number of home workers in the UK, and a harsh winter will likely send the numbers climbing ever higher. More industry-changing adjustments can be expected here.

In the end, it is better to try and exercise some degree of control over the situation and take responsibility, and that is undoubtedly what many businesses will be vying to do. While some lacklustre companies will resign themselves to a chillier and accident-heavy fate, most businesses will be looking to curb all the adverse effects of the winter seasons.

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