Extreme weather can impact any business, but it can be particularly problematic for a small business. Whether it’s snow, rain, or a heatwave, severe weather can affect a business’s ability to operate and its staff morale. As with many business risks, the key to ensuring that your business remains operational even in extreme weather is by being prepared and having proper plans in place.


We all wish we could be out sipping an ice-cold drink and soaking up the sun on hot days. Heatwaves can be demoralising for staff, particularly if you don’t have the benefit of air conditioning.

You can help mitigate the impact of hot weather by ensuring that you have plenty of ventilation in your office, ensuring that no windows are blocked by equipment. You could also invest in fans for around the office to get air circulating. You could also use water coolers so that your staff have easy access to cold water.

You may wish to invest in air conditioning. While this is not the cheapest option, it can come in very useful, particularly as temperatures seem set to keep rising.

Rain And Floods

Having a flood plan can be invaluable to a small business, particularly if you live in a flood-prone area. You should have a clear plan of action when heavy rainfall is forecast and ensure that your staff are familiar with it.

This should include measures such as moving stock and equipment to limit the damage that could be caused by flooding. A set plan of action for where staff are to go and what they should do in the event of a flood is a must for the health and safety of all involved.

All essential and sensitive documentation should be kept above ground level, and where possible stock and equipment should be moved to higher ground. Having laminated copies of your flood plan could help your staff respond quickly and safely, making all the difference in limiting damage.

It is vital that if there is a threat of flooding that you allow your employees to go home before flooding worsens. If this is not possible, having plenty of thermal and warm clothing in a high, dry place could be crucial if you and your staff need to shelter in place until rescued.


Snow can be great fun, but it can also pose significant risks and have severe repercussions for small businesses. If you rely on customers coming to your place of business, then the impact of snow can be even more significant. Having plenty of grit and salt to put on the pavement and roads outside your business can ensure that staff and customers can still reach you safely.

Your staff’s safety should always be your priority. You should have a set plan of action for snowy days and let your team know that if they feel unsafe travelling to work, then they should take a snow day. Snow days do not have to be paid, though you may pay your staff if you wish. If it begins to snow during a workday, you should allow the team to leave early to get home before roads become any more dangerous.

If you feel you should close your business due to the snow, then you should let your staff know as soon as possible so that they don’t venture out into the snow unnecessarily. You could also use social media to alert customers that you will be closed because of the snow.


Ice can pose many of the problems that snow can. Ensuring that you are prepared for icy weather is critical. You should always ensure that you have a good stock of grit and salt for your car park, pavements and roads. Whenever this is used, you should also ensure that you immediately restock what you have used.

If you have a larger area to grit, you may wish to use a professional gritter’s services. This can help to reduce the risk of slips or damage to cars that can occur in icy weather. Have a look at Gritting Works, gritting contractors who are experts in helping businesses continue to function in extreme winter weather.

Cold Weather

When it is particularly cold out, it is essential that you maintain a legal minimum temperature in your office. The legal minimum is 16C for workplaces that don’t require moving around and 13C for workplaces that involve physical activity (such as warehouses). Keeping your business at an appropriate temperature is vital to ensure that your staff remain productive and happy. Working in the cold can be tough on staff morale. You should check in with your staff and ensure they are at a comfortable temperature where possible. You could also invest in PAT tested space heaters for any staff members that feel the cold more. Small actions such as these can have great effects on staff satisfaction and productivity.