Cost of the snow to UK business and affect on call centres

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Paul Clark, Plantronics Director for the UK and Ireland, “According to the Times, Business groups have warned that the cost of absenteeism to the economy because of this week’s snowfalls could reach £2 billion. The estimated financial loss of a one day white out alone is estimated at £600 million.

Many businesses have equipped staff with technologies that support flexible working such as, unified communications, lap tops, mobile phones and headsets, which enable employees to work remotely and minimise the impact of these white outs on top line profits. Contact centres purchase a significant amount of our headsets and we are noticing that even in these environments they are equipping mission critical staff with equipment to enable them to work from home in instances where they are unable to get into the office. Call centres rely on staff to man the phones and as we saw in the news yesterday, lack of staffing capabilities due to snowy conditions significantly reduced customer service2 levels, causing long delays and in some cases only priority services.

What is frustrating is that we see this occur every year and with climate change, the likelihood of it increasing in frequency is rising. At Plantronics we have equipped 95 % of our staff with flexible working technology which greatly reduced the affect of the snowy conditions to our business. However, there are still many who have not; and when considering the global economic crisis from which we are slowly emerging their inaction is doing very little to aid the recovery process.”