Still stuck in the snow? You’re probably not alone. All last week, we were reading about the adverse effects of the current wintry weather on business productivity, with many thousands of people unable to get to work. It even provoked an unprecedented volume of debate about what’s the best thing to do when your workers can’t make it in to the office.
However, this year – in comparison with the last big freeze in the 1980s – more businesses are managing to keep things going because of the benefits of mobile technology. On Monday 2 February, after the first lot of snow fell, Orange recorded an enormous 30% increase in mobile data usage throughout the day as thousands of people turned to their mobile phones and dongles to keep on working – and the extra use of mobile data continued at 20% above the average all week.
Although the number of MMS picture messages sent was more than double the average, it wasn’t just comparing who had the biggest and best snowman. The Orange network experienced a whole new level of activity as people also used their mobile phones, dongles, laptops and datacards to work from home or on the move; making it likely to be one of the busiest Mondays of the year for the operator. The biggest increase in usage came between 7am and 8.30am when people were quick to check what was happening on the roads and railways, or call their boss and let them know they weren’t going to make it into the office.
Paul Tollet, vice president of business at Orange UK said: “Our business customers have really felt the benefit of mobile and remote technologies during the last week, as they’ve enabled many employees to continue working, away from the office. With the right solutions, for example broadband services, mobile email, mobile tools or coverage solutions from Orange in place, mobile and flexible working can effectively give businesses an extension of their office space, enabling day to day operations to continue, whatever the weather.”