Three Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Winter Weather
By TOI Staff October 5, 2022 Update on : October 5, 2022
The summer months have ended somewhat abruptly in the Western hemisphere, as warmer, longer days are replaced with cold snaps and inclement weather. With a uniquely cold winter on the horizon for Americans across the nation, new concerns arise regarding safety at work.
As a business owner, winter safety should be a primary concern going into the fall. There are a number of different ways you can engage with the risks presented by the changing of the seasons. What follows are some of the more essential methods you can use to protect your business and staff alike.
Winter Safety Plan
To start, you should draft and institute a formalized Winter Safety Plan for your workplace. This will include new season-specific directives and measures to render your office and surrounding grounds safer during the winter months.
This chiefly relates to the conduction of regular business during inclement weather. In colder and more dangerous conditions, will you continue to receive deliveries or attempt to make your own? What are your contingency plans for storm conditions that do not endanger logistical staff? How can you preserve productivity without directly endangering workers?
Equip Employees for Remote Work
As weather conditions worsen into the winter, you may find your staff are risking their safety in attempting to commute to work. You may also find staff unable to come into work at all, owing to storm conditions or snowdrifts on unmaintained roads.
To protect your staff’s safety and to mitigate the impact of weather on productivity, you can circumvent the impacts of obstacles to commuting by eliminating commuting entirely. Remote working is already a new standard for the contemporary office, having been instituted during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By adopting remote working policies, you can ensure your staff are able to patch in and work wherever they are.
In order to do this, though, you will need to kit your staff out with the relevant equipment to carry out their duties remotely. Not every staff member will have an adequate computer to fulfill their role or access to the right software.
As such, you should ensure every employee has a laptop, second monitor, peripherals, and relevant power cords to carry out their work. The laptops should be pre-installed with cloud collaboration and communication software.
Winterizing Your Grounds
Of course, you should also ensure your office environment is winterized – or, rendered relatively safe for visitation. Firstly, you should perform a full-site risk assessment of the various seasonal risks that could be presented to employees. These may come in the form of slippery roads or pathways, or trees that could shed branches in storm conditions.
Next, you introduce measures and changes that reduce the risk for workers and visitors. Landscapers might remove a troublesome tree; daily gritting might render roads and paths safer.