Looking out the window today it seems hard to imagine that less than a week ago the South of England was covered in snow. In the days leading up to Thursday 1st March we’d heard the forecasts of snow, seen it affecting other parts of the UK and even felt a notable drop in the temperature, but few of us believed the worst of Storm Emma and “the beast from the east” would reach us.
How wrong we were. On Thursday morning we woke up to a level of snowfall we’d describe as “heavy” in these parts which, for our friends in the north, loosely translates as “some snow had settled”. By 7:30am the decision was made to close our Poole office. At this time it was still possible for our staff to travel to work, but our telecoms and IT infrastructure allowed us to avoid the risk of the worse weather conditions forecast for later that day. On Friday the decision was made to close both our Poole and Bath offices.
Clients were still able to contact our support team via email as well as our 0345 number, which was set by our hosted telephone system to redirect via mobile and PC clients to our entire team working safely from home throughout the day. All essential company documents and files were accessible to our staff through Microsoft Office 365 and Sharepoint, whilst business critical applications were accessible by a remote desktop connection from our workstations at home. All of which was previously set up to enable home working. Internal communication was covered in real time too through the use of Skype for Business.
By mid-afternoon more snow had fallen and roads were gridlocked due to slow moving traffic, with set backs of 3 to 4 hours for commuters between Poole and Bournemouth. Many were forced to abandon their cars. And it wasn’t just the roads, travellers on a train between Waterloo and Weymouth were left stranded on the line outside of New Milton for 12 hours overnight!
Although it’s still a rare occurrence for the weather to bring our corner of the country to a complete standstill there is every chance this could become an annual occurrence, with the UK being subject to changing weather patterns in recent years. For some travel is an unavoidable part of their job, but if it’s not essential for your staff there is an alternative to the chaos tens of thousands were cast into last week.
Now is the time to explore the options available to prevent future disruptions to your business. Our cloud-based telecoms and IT services offer a solution in a range of scenarios, be it extreme weather or other unforeseen circumstances. We can offer a free initial consultation for any business interested in learning more. Please contact us via email to email@example.com or call us on 0345 123 6677.