UK Set for Heaviest Snowfall in Years
Say the headlines.
It feels like every year the doomsayers (AKA long term weather forecasters) tell us about all the snow we are going to be subjected to over the winter months.
The last BIG FREEZE
The 2010 big freeze is etched in my memory. Perhaps it’s because the day the first snowflakes fell, early December on my drive into work, happened to be my birthday. Maybe it’s because I was on my way to the most important business meeting of the year – delivering my budget plan to the board. I felt good that morning.
I had a brilliantly complex spreadsheet – full of calculations and look-ups, pivots and conditional formatting. I felt confident.
As the first snowflakes fell onto my windscreen, I felt content. Peaceful even. I’d always rather enjoyed snow. And I had prepped to within an inch of my life.
Did I mention it was my birthday?
Fast forward 6 hours and things weren’t quite going to plan. One of my calculations was wrong. It was throwing the whole spreadsheet out. And one by one staff members were interrupting the board meeting to announce their early departure due to cancellation of public transport.
I couldn’t leave. I had some serious explaining to do.
Left Out in the Cold
I left the office later than normal to find my car under 3 feet of snow. Turning on my feet, trudging slowly through the snow, on the mile long trek to the train station, the weather very much matched my mood. Luckily I made it onto the last train back to my town. The commute was slow and torturous – snow was halting the progress greatly and the normal 20 minute commute took over 1 hour.
I eventually made it home after 8pm at night, frozen and wet – cold carry-out curry and bottle of wine in hand – well, it was my birthday after all.
What followed was a period of three weeks, where my car was completely abandoned up a side street in Glasgow’s East End. Precarious and unreliable public transport became my only option.
One day the train only made it one stop before everyone was chucked off. Another I waited over an hour for a bus which drove straight past me, bursting at the seam with passengers.
Leaving the house at 7am didn’t make it any easier to present at the office before 11am.
Some of my colleagues stayed with friends in town or in hotel rooms to avoid the commute. I had children, that option wasn’t available to me.
What you gonna do?
Let It Go!
Neither employee nor employer were winning in that scenario. But what option did we have?
Back then it wasn’t common to use cloud based business software. Presenteeism was more highly valued across British work places than today. It was not the kind of working culture where people were encouraged to work from home. Besides, businesses certainly didn’t have the right infrastructure to support home working.
Today, being used to remote working, I am not in the least phased by the prospect of another BIG FREEZE!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not delighted at the prospect of being house bound, incapable of taking my car beyond my street. My palm trees might die again. The outside of my house might need re-rendered after severe frost. I am nervous about the pipes freezing over or bursting. But as for the worry of how I get to work? I can let it go!
Today I use a smart cloud based business software system. It allows me to log on from any location using any device. My experience of remote working is exactly the same as my experience of working in the office. All my colleagues can do similar because each transaction on the system will feed through to me in real time. I will always be working off the latest version of “the truth” whether my colleagues are in the same room as me, or not.
Are you ready?
Are you ready for the next big freeze? Whether this year or not, you can bet your bottom dollar that we will have another 2010 at some point. Does your software system support multiple employees remote working simultaneously? If not, you could be freezing out your staff and your customers.
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient.
We provision smart, cloud based business software, for smart businesses.