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4 Wintertime Risks For SMEs

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Wintertime has its ups and downs. For one thing, there is the Christmas rush when customers spend money hand over fist without the usual scepticism. For another, the snow, wind, and rain can pose a major danger to small and medium-sized businesses. Sadly, SMEs don’t have the resources to dig them out from underneath an avalanche when it hits. The good news is that quality leaders only need a handful of things to ensure the show goes on and output isn’t interrupted too much. Here’s a look at the risks and how you can manage them by being proactive and flexible this wintertime.

Lawsuits

It’s not nice to think about, but people do slip, trip, and fall over in icy conditions. When it happens on corporate property, the owner is liable for compensation. Therefore, you or the company might end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit that costs the business thousands of pounds. One way to manage liability is to make sure everything is as clear and as ice-free as possible. Putting down grit and digging out the snow should be enough. If there are still hazardous spots, be sure to put up signs warning people of the danger.

Floods

With rain falling at a higher rate than usual, offices are open to flooding especially if they’re on the ground floor. Even a cold snap can be a problem as water in the pipes freezes and causes them to burst. A simple solution is to install the correct fixtures and fittings so that the load isn’t too much to carry. Stainless steel weld fittings are usually heavy duty enough, plus they won’t rust either. Alternatively, keeping the heating on at low temperature should stop the water from freezing. As always, an insurance policy will come in handy if the worst happens.

Snowed-In Employees

Snow is a productivity killer as it stops people from travelling. Or, it gives them an excuse to blame the weather and take a day off. Thankfully, slacking off isn’t an option any longer thanks to remote work software. By uploading documents and files to the cloud, employees can complete tasks from anywhere in the world at any time. They might be as productive as normal, but at least half of the office isn’t sitting at home watching daytime TV.  Create a work-from-home policy to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

Sickness

Being snowed-in is one thing, but illness is another. Unfortunately, workers who are ill won’t be able to do anything until they are better. Therefore, there should be an emphasis on preventing coughs and colds and the flu from spreading. Get your employees to use tissues when they sneeze and then dispose of them properly. Don’t recycle them. Also, encourage people to go and get a flu jab so that they are immune from the virus. If you have to give them half a day off, it’s a good trade-off because you’ll win in the long-term.

What poses the biggest problem for your business during the winter?

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