How bad weather is costing UK businesses

Poor weather conditions are still having a negative impact upon British businesses – costing them as much as £350 million, new research has revealed.


One in eight businesses has no disaster recovery plan in place for this event and with more bad weather expected this winter, the need to be prepared has never been greater.


The research from telecoms provider Daisy Group plc found that bad weather costs the UK economy around £350 million a day in lost productivity.


This is despite advances in mobile business technology such as cloud computing which makes it possible to work from many different locations.


Nearly a third of UK businesses were affected by transport problems, broadband or phone line failures or power cuts in the past two years. Of those, 40% did not have a continuity plan in place, so staff were unable to work from an alternative location or from home.


Around three million workers have been unable to work for at least one day during the last two years as a result.


The study works on the basis that the UK average wage is £13 per hour and that the UK’s workforce totals 30 million, this amounts to lost productivity of more than £350 million every day there is bad weather.


While some businesses are able to cope with this, smaller firms could be particularly hard hit if they lose valuable trading time.


In such situations, corporate recovery methods could be used to ensure that a business runs as efficiently as possible.


Staff safety is imperative for business and they should not have to put themselves at risk from hazardous travelling or working conditions. This highlights the need for a contingency plan that allows workers to carry on working in another location so that the business – and their individual wellbeing – is not affected.


Providing home access to IT systems can mean work can continue, but the necessary safety precautions should be taken to ensure that all systems and data are protected.


Such approaches can be cost effective in the long-term and can reduce the likelihood of bad weather having a negative impact on a business.


By Phil Smith


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