Winter Woes in Business: Five Things To Consider

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

The colder weather has well and truly hit, but it’s only the start of what’s to come over the next few months. And as a business owner, the upcoming winter shouldn’t have slipped under your radar since it could have some significant implications on your company. Here are a few of the challenges to be aware of.

Keep Health and Safety in Mind

Wet, icy and snowy weather all present slipping hazards– and if someone slips over on your premises you could be liable. Whether it’s a member of the public or one of your own employees, the last thing you need is a lawsuit on your hands. Display warning signs, and put down salts which will make everywhere less slippery. You should have sufficient lighting too, since it could be seen as neglect and you could be liable if someone slips because you haven’t provided the correct lighting.

Keep Workers Warm

Legally, a workplace with sedentary workers should be at least sixteen degrees celsius. If the workers are more active such as lifting things and doing a lot of moving around, it can be thirteen degrees. Any lower than this and employees can leave and have the law on their side. On top of this, keeping workers warm and comfortable will boost productivity and staff happiness. Get a thermometer and adjust your heating accordingly.

Employee Sick Days and Bad Weather Days

Winter is the time of year for colds and bugs, and so you should expect more worker sick days during this time. Make sure you’re prepared for this, don’t let work fall behind and that deadlines are being met. If you can’t function with missing staff members, you could work with an employment agency who can send temporary workers out as cover. For bad weather days, if employees aren’t able to get into work one option would be to assign work which they can do from home. If bad weather causes power to go out part way through your work day, a backup generator would allow you to get up and running again without losing the day. Check out a generator sales service and find something that suits your business and requirements. Storms can often knock out power lines, so it’s good to be prepared.

Weather Damage Insurance

If you own your office building, you will need to ensure you have the correct buildings insurance. Your policy needs to include protection against bad weather, in case storms tear up the roof or ice causes burst pipes. If the winter weather damages your building, you will end up being massively out of pocket if you realise your insurance policy didn’t cover it, so make sure you have protection from bad weather.

Fluctuation in Sales

Finally, businesses have peaks and troughs in the year when it comes to sales. If you’re a retail store, for example, you’re likely to see a large increase in sales up until Christmas and a sharp decline after the new year’s sales. Gyms are the opposite, less people joining up during party season and then a huge increase in the new year. Depending on what your business does, these peaks and troughs can be at different times. Make sure you account for any slower periods over the winter.

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