Winter. It's finally here. Unseasonably warm temps during the holidays gave many of us in the Northeast false hope that Mother Nature might go easy on us this season. Alas, the impending weekend forecast for the region suggests our luck is coming to an end.
If you live in a part of the world that experiences four seasons, you understand the benefits as well as the challenges each winter brings. While a fresh coat of snow can be picturesque, even rejuvenating, it can also impact your everyday life in a major way. Along with its beauty, the winter brings shorter days, longer commutes, and a whole lot of uncertainty—especially when it comes to how the weather might affect your workday. The good news is that new technologies make it possible to continue with business as usual despite winter's many variables.
Businesses embracing the shift toward mobility and cloud solutions are not only ahead in adapting to a new generation of workers, but they're helping all employees benefit from perks like unconventional office workspaces and telecommuting options. Learn why these elements can be particularly helpful during the winter months for your safety, well-being, and productivity.
- Put safety first in inclement weather. An average of 1,258,978 weather-related motor vehicle accidents occur in the U.S. each year. Why risk a treacherous commute if you can successfully work from home? (Federal Highway Administration) (Tweet This)
- Save your sick days. Working remotely can be a worthwhile option if you're feeling under the weather or uneasy about the forecast. This eliminates the alternatives of reluctantly trekking into the office or calling in sick. Studies show that companies with integrated mobile strategies can reduce work absences by as much as 60%. (BT) (Tweet This)
- Maintain your health. More flexibility allows employees to allocate time differently. In the winter months, it can be tough to catch enough sunlight to retain vitamin D, enough motivation to engage in physical activity, and enough time to practice stress-relieving activities. 69% of employees say that flexible working is critical in easing work-related stress. (WSB) (Tweet This)
- Change up your workspace. Cooped up in a dry, temperature-challenged office building? Relocate to a nearby coffee shop for the afternoon to get a change of scenery, feel more comfortable, and be more productive. A study from the Journal of Consumer Research found that a moderate level of ambient noise (70 decibels) can actually enhance performance on creative tasks when compared to a relatively quiet environment. (The Atlantic) (Tweet This)
- Ensure business continuity. 28% of workers report bad weather as the biggest threat to their punctuality at work; 41% cite traffic as the top cause. It's a challenge to promise reliable customer support without proper staffing during all business hours. Instead of putting customer satisfaction (and your safety) on the line, connect at home with cloud-based tools when it's not favorable to drive to the office. (PayScale) (Tweet This)
- Contribute to company savings. Reducing costs is a common business goal, but what about doing so while offering a better work experience for employees? 66% of business decision makers say enabling flexible working is a greater financial benefit than cutting operational costs. If your office can remain closed during a snowstorm while workers operate efficiently at home, the company is actually lessening overhead costs like electricity, heat, and Internet. (Polycom) (Tweet This)
- Head somewhere sunny. For aforementioned reasons like health improvement and stress reduction, take a trip someplace warmer. Even if you can't completely escape work commitments, log on when you have downtime—poolside, beachside, or anywhere outside. Just five to 15 minutes of direct sunlight two to three times a week can boost your mood, so you can return home with the energy to push through the rest of the season. (Healthline) (Tweet This)