Winterize Your Business Before It’s Too Late

Winter is more than a festive, jolly time for many. It’s also a risk for just about every business that has to deal with it. Slips, trips, and falls are more likely, more people get sick, and your business could get pushed to its limit. So, here’s you face Winter head on, preparing your business for the worst and pushing through to the other side.

Informing and educating

You need to talk about the risks to your workers, first and foremost. You shouldn’t assume that everyone is fully equipped and understanding of them. For instance, in driving to work. You may have to cope with absences if the journey is too dangerous to make in a car. But you should also be talking to them about safer driving on icy or snowy roads. It’s also important to inform them that it’s okay if they need to take a day when the roads are too dangerous. If they work outside, make sure to inform them of risk to long-term cold exposure and give them the option to take breaks to warm back up. Frostbite and hypothermia are serious risks to anyone who has to spend prolonged time outdoors. Make sure you’re helping your workers identify that risk by teaching them the symptoms. It’s also important to remember that their productivity will naturally be lower. Not only because they might have to take more frequent breaks to warm up. There’s also the fact that colder conditions simply makes it more difficult to perform tasks utilizing hand dexterity.

Unfreezing the workplace

The ice and cold can be just as much a threat inside the workplace as outside if you’re not well-enough prepared. You need to make sure that you’re able to easily heat and add comfort to the office. Check that you have insulation in all the right places and properly applied with tools like insulation adhesives by Kenyon Group. Now, more than ever you have to check your insulation and your HVAC systems to make sure they’re as efficient as they can be. Not just to control the workplace temperature, but to stop it from costing your business too much to do so. Then be well aware of the risks of ice directly outside. Build a supply of grit and make sure you’re not making the problem worse by doing something like pouring boiling water on the ice. Any walkways outside, any break spaces, any steps leading outside need to be treated carefully and regularly for the risk of ice forming. It’s no coincidence that we see more slips, trips, and falls in Winter than in any other time of the year.

Make hygiene a priority

Winter brings more than cold and slippery ground. It also brings a season of flu, colds, strep, and plenty of other nasty illnesses. These are most certainly going to impact your business in some manner. Prevent the spread of them through the office by prioritizing good hygiene more than ever. Clean your wash stations often and make sure everyone is supplied with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. That way, they can more easily ensure they’re taking care of their individual hygiene. Ensure that your employees know that it is company policy to sanitize their workstations, as well as to properly wash their hands when using the bathroom. The spread of germs isn’t something you can exactly see, so you need to be strict in combating it. It can be a sensitive topic when dealing with the hygiene of one employee in particular. Before singling them out, try sending out an office wide-memo addressing the issue without naming names. If that doesn’t work, then a private meeting might be in order.

Prepare for absences

Of course, people will get sick or they will be stranded. If they’ve come down with something, by all means, let them stay home so they don’t spread it to the rest of your staff. To maintain a good level of productivity in the Winter, you need to work around those absences. For one, consider offering remote working options for those who can’t make it in. If they’re sick and they can’t work, then having previously cross-trained your employees in the most vital tasks can ensure you’re not falling behind because of any one absence.

A business that isn’t equipped for Winter is going to lose a lot of productivity, not to mention see a much more disgruntled workforce. Make sure you’re preparing before the worst hits or you’ll be seeing a long, hard Winter indeed.

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