Parts of the UK have been struggling with the effects of colder than usual winter weather for around a month on and off. And the last week in particular has been most remarkable – illustrated perfectly by the extraordinary NASA satellite photograph which depicted the entire frozen land mass of Great Britain as it endured some of the coldest and most disruptive winter conditions in decades.
The resulting travel disruption forced many people to stay at home rather than travelling to their workplaces and the lost productivity will most certainly have impacted the economy; some estimates even place the overall cost of the winter disruption peaking at over £600M per day.
Some disruption is unavoidable – if your delivery trucks are stuck in snow on the M40 then there’s frankly very little you can do about that – but in this modern, internet connected era of smartphones, mobile working and online applications it is reasonable to conclude that at least some UK businesses will have been less impacted than others. Thanks either to the ability to keep on top of their email from home using their Blackberrys or Outlook Web Access, to continue working with their colleagues remotely with Google Apps or indeed run their accounts or sales operations from their kitchen tables.
It would be interesting to learn of more stories from the UK from the last week about the extent of the winter disruption and if the ability to work on regardless thanks to online applications like Xero was a welcomed advantage or not.