Readers in the UK will be all too familiar with the wintry weather conditions here at the moment, but I thought I’d take a moment to dwell on the effect this has on business travel. With sub-zero temperatures, flurries of snow that turns to ice on roads and rails, and severe weather warnings from Scotland down to the southernmost points of England, it’s been a difficult week.
At best, this snowy weather means disruption to businesses as employees are unable to stick to their travel plans, with a lack of routes to meetings (or even into the office). At worst, though, it is expensive for businesses as pre-booked travel, such as rail journeys or flights - both internal and international - are cancelled or delayed.
On Wednesday morning, two major airports- London Gatwick and Edinburgh- were closed, causing disruption to many business travellers’ plans, and Tuesday evening saw a train full of commuters stranded for six hours on the way out of London to Kent. For consecutive days, thousands of children stayed home due to school closures, meaning that those parents without childcare solutions were also forced to stay away from the office.
This all creates a huge strain on businesses if they are unable to quickly and easily change bookings and alter their approach to travel. Without access to a booking tool, it may not be possible to change travel arrangements and get the necessary refunds. It’s a universal problem that affects businesses both small and large, but the solution can be surprisingly easy to implement.
There is technology out there that allows business customers to book travel on the go, even from mobile devices. Changing your arrangements if you are snowed in or your flight is delayed, becomes quick, simple and accountable with an integrated travel and expense solution. With further Met Office weather warnings announced throughout the UK for Thursday and possibly for next week as well, there is more misery to come.
I know from past experience that being snowed in is frustrating when your business needs you to be out and about meeting clients and making connections. Technology can help you quickly react to adverse travel conditions, adjust plans on-the-fly, and stay productive – regardless of what the weatherman has in store.