Winter evokes images of cold mornings with a cup of hot chocolate in the hand. When the first snow falls, people will stare out of their windows watching snowflakes drifting slowly to the ground. But the season also has a considerable effect on businesses.
Businesses should prepare for winter since the cold weather poses a significant risk to the health and safety of employees. Aside from illnesses due to the weather, the season also comes with slippery roads and strong winds. So, businesses should make the necessary preparations for winter. Here are some tips to help businesses prepare for the coldest season of the year.
Evaluate the Risks
The first thing that businesses should do to get ready for winter is to evaluate the risks the cold weather brings. When they evaluate the risks, businesses should take into account the location of their office, where their employees live, and their industry.
Reflecting on these factors allows businesses to implement measures to reduce the threats to the health and safety of their employees. It also allows them to stay open throughout the cold season. Aside from the risks that winter brings, businesses should also take into account the pandemic, which is not yet over.
Businesses should also monitor the weather and watch out for winter storms to ensure they are prepared when it arrives. This is particularly true if the business has field-based employees who have to travel regularly. These employees are more susceptible to unforeseen changes in the weather.
If an employee is involved in an accident using the company vehicle, the business should work with a car accident lawyer to know who is liable for the accident. The attorney has legal advocates who collect and verify information about the accident. With this, the business will find out who is responsible for it. It also facilitates the payment of medical expenses and damage to company property.
Aside from a winter storm, the other potential winter weather hazards that businesses should consider are seasonal illnesses, hypothermia, unsafe driving conditions, road closures, power outages, and flight cancellations. Additionally, businesses should check for potential structural stress and damage that will affect their physical offices during winter.
Winterize the Business
Planning and paying attention to details is essential to winterize a business. Businesses should prepare for a storm long before it arrives. It allows them to avoid losses, which will affect their profitability. Due to this, businesses should conduct regular inspections of their equipment and offices. Regular maintenance also prevents issues when the cold weather arrives.
Businesses with standalone office locations should check the roof and perform repairs whenever necessary. They should also insulate their plumbing to prevent the pipes from freezing. Checking the HVAC system ensures that it is in proper working condition during winter.
Additionally, businesses should have a plan for power outages that will happen during winter. The plan is important since winter storms affect power lines and cause power outages in their locations. The plan also allows them to maintain productivity while waiting for the power to come back.
Keep the Employees Informed
Preparing for winter also requires businesses to keep their employees informed about their contingency plans for the season. Businesses should update the event pages on their website, send emails, and use a text messaging system to stay in touch with their employees. This is particularly true during emergencies, which will happen when a winter storm hits their location.
To facilitate communications, businesses should use technology to their advantage. Aside from ensuring that a phone line remains open for employees, businesses should also set up a multi-channel emergency communication system that is accessible to employees. The system should function even during a power outage to ensure the employees receive messages during emergencies.
Manage Cash Flow
In addition to preparing for emergencies, businesses should also manage their finances during winter. The cold season will affect the cash flow of businesses depending on their industry. So, it’s a good idea to reduce expenses to allow them to stay afloat.
Even if businesses are already implementing cost-cutting measures, they should review these measures and find ways to improve them. Reviewing these measures allows businesses to prepare for lower revenues when winter comes.
Businesses should look into negotiating with their landlord if they are renting office space. But if they own their office building, leasing or renting out space is another option to increase revenues during winter.
Letting the employees work from home during winter is another option since it allows businesses to save on utility expenses. It also reduces the work-related risks since the employees do not need to travel going to work.
Businesses should implement measures to allow them to continue generating revenues even during winter.