Snow day? S’no problem. How to weatherproof your business.

Stephen Mulligan
On: 7 Mar 2018
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Remote working technology

The recent disruption to our neatly manicured schedules caused by The Beast from the East and Storm Emma was something unseen by most of us for many years.

A few feet of snow was a fun novelty for a while but for many organisations it meant significant financial loss as operations ground to a halt. Excluding the businesses who will always be vulnerable to weather-related disruption, e.g. those in the transport and hospitality sectors, technology is the key to preventing the devastating effects of extreme weather on productivity.

Collaboration and Access

A properly designed and secured network, mobile and UC environment, along with a cloud strategy for applications and storage, means you and your team can be as productive at home (or wherever you are) as you are in the office – some argue even more so, but they clearly don’t have kids at home.

Working offline is something most of us can do for a while, but ultimately you need to access applications, files and data, and be connected with your colleagues and customers. If you have broadband at home, you can get on your corporate network either via a VPN or a hosted desktop environment. Either option will give you the same tools and services that you have access to in your office. Even if you lose power and your broadband disappears with it, you can still work off your device battery and a 3Mobile Broadband MiFi device.

There’s no need today to grind to a halt or make unnecessary journeys.

With hosted desktop solutions, you don’t even need to bring home your laptop. If you have a home PC or tablet, you can log in to your virtual desktop and continue from where you left off when last in the office. In fact, if you are a Samsung Galaxy user with a Samsung DeX unit, you can pretty much do a day’s work now off your phone, either using the DeX environment natively on your 55” TV or by running a full virtual desktop environment on the phone. Either way, the DeX will allow you to connect a mouse, keyboard and screen, turning your phone into a fully functional workstation.


IP Telephony and Unified Communications mean that calls can be taken and made on your PC or can be redirected to a mobile or home phone. Contact centre agents can remotely log in to their profile and continue to operate as if they were in the actual call centre. For sales folks, you can access your cloud-based CRM like Salesforce and continue on with customer interaction using tools like WebEx, Spark, cloud-based Video Conferencing, etc.

The other aspect of weatherproofed communication is the ability to urgently contact all staff and customers about your premises being closed or other emergency plans. The ideal way to do this is using a bulk SMS solution such as 3Communicate, which reaches people immediately and reliably, directly on their phones.

Future proofed as well as weather proofed.

The benefits these solutions bring to a business are for life, not just for winter. The flexibility that a ‘work from anywhere, anytime on any device’ culture allows your workforce may be posed as a benefit of working for your organisation now, but it is quickly becoming expected. As your peers embrace this technology and the productivity, efficiency and recruitment benefits it brings, you risk losing competitiveness. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, millennials and gen Z employees are only on the rise and they are unlikely to settle for anything less than a digitally enabled and flexible working environment.

If all that fails, well then I guess it’s time to go build a snowman.