Putting trust in snow days

3 Dec

Writing from my snowed-in home office, I have been rather bemused by reports of workers apparently skiving off on ‘snow days’, and how employers have been worried about lost productivity – estimated to be costing UK businesses £1.2bn a day.

It's been snow joke for small businesses.

While I haven’t relished being trapped in my home for four days by eight inches of cold, white stuff, at least my employer had made provisions for staff working from home – and isn’t about to dock anyone’s pay because they can’t venture safely beyond their front doors.

Snow days, for me, put a severe test on the ability of companies and their employees to work flexibly. And this comes down to trust. Sensible employers will acknowledge that employees may have the will but not the way to come to work, and will allow them to work from home. Output is easily measurable, and it means that team members are still able to do their jobs.

I’ve been able to race through a ton of work without interruption or distraction – and I even managed to get dressed for work, unlike some people who relish the chance to stay in their pyjamas until lunchtime!

I appreciate that’s fine if you’re desk bound, but from the point of view of small businesses who rely on customer interaction for their cash flow (such as restaurants, for example), I hear estimates that 800 or 900 small businesses could go bankrupt as a result of this cold snap, as they buckle under this final burden.

I have strong views on trust, and so I have to throw my hands up in despair at the woman who dialled 999 to report the theft of her snowman. For the sake of all those hard-worked emergency people, and those small businesses feeling the pinch, I’ll be praying for a swift and decisive thaw.

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