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Businesses Should Use Telework to Weather Storms

Heavy snow is burying British businesses. New research has found that about three in five companies disrupted by winter weather suffered financially as a result, with the average cost soaring above £52,000. The FT reports:

It showed that extreme weather was increasingly hampering organisations: a decade ago, it interfered with just 15 per cent of businesses over a year, rising to 29 per cent five years ago and 49 per cent last year.[…]

Bad weather was the top cause of disruption to UK companies over the past 12 months, with 77 per cent of organisations affected by this winter’s snow. The main problem was that travel disruption and childcare issues stopped staff from getting to work.

Of all the disruptions companies might face—power outages, illness, protests, transportation problems, and even terrorist attacks—extreme weather, which mostly means heavy snow, topped the list.

Continuity is important to any business, as interruptions in service can tarnish a brand’s reputation and alienate potential customers. Telework policies, like the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 for US federal agencies, can increase companies’ resilience when unpredictable disruptions occur. Private firms should follow suit.

Plus, telework is popular with employees, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by killing the commute, brings productivity gains, and reduces costs for employers. Businesses that incorporate it will have a competitive advantage in the 21st century.

[Image of snow-covered cars courtesy of Shutterstock.]

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