Snow disruptions caused many business activities to come to a halt yesterday, with further disruptions to be expected today. An estimated 20% of the working population did not make it to work, costing the UK economy over Ã‚Â£1.2bn, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Many motorways were shut, and trains and flights suffered severe delays or cancellations, which caused many commuters to be left stranded.
Yesterday’s weather conditions also forced a strong case for businesses to implement flexible working capabilities for their employees.
Rebecca Clake, organisation and resourcing adviser at the CIPD, said: “Companies that have put in place the technology and management practices to allow their people to work flexibly in normal times can reap the rewards today, as thousands of people log on from their living rooms and bedrooms to keep the knowledge economy ticking over.”
Further disruptions are to be expected, but Derek Turner, national traffic director at the Highways Agency said: “Roads are now clear of snow by and large. The issue is that drivers aren’t used to these conditions”.
In London, this was the first time all bus travels were cancelled across the capital.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, admitted: “This is the kind of snow we haven’t seen in London in decades. We don’t have the snow-ploughs that we would otherwise need to be sure of getting the roads free,”
“The difficulty really has been that the volume of snow has been so huge that you can put down the grit, put down the salt, but then it simply snows over it again and you run the risk of unleashing a 12-tonne bus on to heavily-packed snow or ice and turning it into a lethal weapon.”