Scotland was caught unaware on Tuesday 3 January as red alert weather warnings and hurricane-force winds descended on the country. A recent report from PWC reveals that Scottish businesses could risk losing over £100m a day in lost productivity if they don’t learn valuable lessons from the extreme weather that has brought the Central Belt to a virtual standstill twice in the last month alone with road, rail and air networks grinding to a halt. (1)
Had the roads not been quiet due to the New Year bank holiday, the number of accidents would have no doubt soared as people tried to get to work. The storm was upgraded to red alert by the Met Office at 8.14am on Tuesday morning, long after most people would have set off for work.
Mark Hay, CEO of mobile messaging provider, HSL said:
“We are increasingly seeing extreme weather take hold and ravage Scotland and businesses simply can’t afford to ignore this. They could be putting employees’ lives at risk by not reacting quickly enough to emergency situations.
“If storms, snow or flooding make it difficult or dangerous for employees to get to work, employers need to communicate quickly with employees to ensure that they do not travel to work unnecessarily and work from home when possible.
“With 91% of the UK population owning or using a mobile phone, text messaging can be used by companies to get messages out to their workforce very quickly and much more effectively than emails or any smartphone technology. UK companies could reduce lost productivity by instantly sending text messages to staff, advising them to work from home rather than attempting the journey to work in dangerous weather conditions.”
Mark Hay continued:
“Extreme weather looks set to increase in Scotland. Businesses must prepare for this to keep operations running smoothly throughout the disruption and make the safety of staff a key priority. SMS technology has been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that companies are realising just what a useful, efficient and cost effective tool it is for communicating with large groups simultaneously.”
For further information about HSL's AlertBroadcast SMS service, click on the following link:
(1) PriceWaterhouseCoopers research. Economic impact: The figure is based on analysis that for every day the UK grinds to a halt, the economic impact is £1bn a day, which for Scotland, equates to around £100m.
Notes to editors:
- HSL is an independently owned Scottish company that provides mass text messaging with coverage of more than 630 network operators worldwide. Their customers range from large household brands like DHL and BAA to small companies and the public sector
- 91% of the UK population personally own or use a mobile phone (source: Ofcom Q1 2011)
- For just a few pence per message you can send bulk text messages to employees, making it a very quick and cost efficient way for businesses to communicate with staff. It only takes a few seconds to send a text message to thousands of people, saving time and money.
- Customers who use HSL’s services are based not just in the UK, but around the world. HSL’s geographic split of customers is broadly 85% from Europe, 9% from the Middle East, Asia and Africa and 6% from the USA and Canada
- HSL send millions of messages a month on behalf of their customers
- HSL’s customers use messaging in emergency situations, such as issuing early warning alerts for Tsunamis and search and rescue alerts.