While the wintry weather definitely caused inconvenience and chaos last week, it has certainly become so much easier to keep a busy work life on track and stay efficient during challenging weather conditions. Thanks to technology, not only can we work from the comfort of our own home, but we can also better understand the changing weather and plan for minimal disruption.
Some years ago, having a ‘snow day’ ultimately meant that you could forget about achieving anything work-related. Travelling to the office was near impossible and VPN did not have all the wonderful qualities we are so familiar with now. Technology has since enabled us to carry out most, if not all, of our office duties from home and deliver equally high results. If you’re worried about team communication when you can’t reach the office, there’s no need. There are countless ways to maintain quality contact with your colleagues and continue working closely, whether that‘s by email, in an online meeting room, Skype or by phone. In an agency like ours, the use of technology ensures we deliver a high-quality service to all our clients.
The way in which technology can so accurately forecast the weather has done wonders for the working snow day. With this knowledge, businesses can be fully prepared for a ‘day out of the office’ and can plan a smooth-sailing schedule. More significantly, technological forecasting can now enable us to actually get to work – authorities can be made aware of vulnerable transports links, giving them an opportunity to make the journey possible for intrepid commuters. The development of IoT smart city technology is another way in which councils are tackling these issues and identifying areas at risk. One example of this is smart tree technology. Using tree sensors, councils can collect data which measures the movement of trees and evaluates their stability and overall condition. If, for example, heavy snowfall has put a tree at risk of falling and disrupting traffic flow, councils will be notified and can take immediate action.
We are even seeing the effect of technology on snow days at schools – a recent story from the BBC told of a new ‘e-learning day’ for students in the US whereby they are required to work from home.
Despite all these technology advances, the future of the traditional snow day is unclear. The need for a physical office is declining for some businesses due to the increasing use of IT solutions and some companies already operate solely through virtual workspaces. What’s more, with ever-evolving smart city and transport technology, we may once and for all beat the travel chaos!