26 May 2022

Is Your Business Prepared For Winter?


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Leadership and management


We’ve had a warm Autumn and Winter so far in the UK. If that all changes and the weather worsens, is your business prepared for Winter?

Do you have contact details of all staff (not just their work email address)?

If your employees are stranded at home, or worse on the road, can you contact them? Many employees won’t have work mobile phones and without the number of their personal device, you’re effectively cut off from them.

If you have an intranet then encourage your staff to complete their details, including their own email address and phone number. With this information stored in a central location, you’ll be able to methodically and efficiently stay in contact.

Are your employees equipped to work from home?

equipped to work from homeDo your employees have the necessary hardware and software to work form home productively and efficiently?

It’s all too easy to assume that everyone has a fast internet connection at home these days. While most will have access to the internet, speeds vary greatly and should they be required to download or upload large files, this could cause issues.

Does everyone know what to do in the event that they’re unable to get to the office?

In the event that the office remains closed or is inaccessible for certain employees, are there policies in place? Are these policies clear and easy to understand? Are the policies up to date and has everyone read them and confirmed that they understand them?

In terms of compliance, rolling our your company policies over your intranet (such as Ciphr Net) means that you’re able to update the policies automatically and record your employees confirmation of having read them. If your intranet uses cloud technology then it also means that these policies are available anywhere should individuals need to remind themselves of certain processes .

Will collaboration break down between office and remote staff?

employee-collaborationMuch of the collaboration that occurs in the work environment now takes place using online tools and apps. Video conferencing, knowledge sharing, file sharing and presenting can all be achieved using our mobile devices as well as desktop or laptop.

The problem occurs when these solutions aren’t aligned within the business and different employees use different apps. Ensure that everyone in your business uses the same set of tools and that they are competent in their use.

Do you offer benefits that help your employees remain productive through the Winter?

There are specific benefits that your brand can offer it’s employees which will not only benefit them, but as a result, benefit your business too.

The flu jab, remote/flexible working policies and even a Christmas party can benefit your brand as well as your staff, improving morale as well as the health of your employees will all benefit productivity.

Does the office environment help to maintain morale through the darker months?

office-plantsMaking the working environment a healthy and pleasant place to be will help to maintain morale as well and the general health of your employees.

Natural light, ergonomic chairs and desks and office plants are all elements of an environment that your workforce will thrive in, especially through the shorter, colder days. If your staff are comfortable and happy then they’ll reward your business with a good day’s work.

Do you forget the obvious things?

Making sure that paths are clear from ice and the office is warm may seem obvious, but can often be overlooked. Make sure that there is a stock of grit to make the paths leading to the office safe and that your heating system’s serviced and working properly.

Do you show understanding?

There’s nothing worse for morale than your efforts being ignored. An employee that’s battled the elements to get to the office, only to be forced to give up and return home, won’t appreciate being told that they’re not being paid for the day.

Allowing employees to take use annual leave at short notice or work from home will show that you appreciate that sometimes it’s just not possible to make it to the office.