Businesses are suffering from the biggest travel disruption since the Second World War caused by the erupting Icelandic volcano, with huge numbers of workers stranded abroad.
The travel agents’ association ABTA estimates that 150,000 Britons are unable to get home, and rolling cancellations have hit hard in business Meccas such as Japan and Hong Kong, where many stranded European business executives have been told there are no return flights till Sunday. The resulting chaos means that many workers are trapped overseas after their Easter Break, spurring the government to mobilise the Royal Navy in a ‘Dunkirk-style rescue.’
Cloud Net, a business phone systems company, has also stepped into the breach with a free conference call facility to help maintain business continuity in the face of fragmented project teams.
The service, hosted by Cloud Net for free for the duration of the crisis, provides companies with a teleconference room, where participants can dial in to speak with their colleagues at a scheduled time. Participants will just pay their normal call rates using their own provider to a 01 or 02 number, as opposed to some teleconference providers using more expensive 0870 numbers.
Charles Chance, MD of Cloud Net said: “We’ve heard that a huge number of businesses have staff trapped overseas, and thought a free conference service might help alleviate the situation. As the disruption looks set to continue for the greater part of this week, keeping key team members in the loop via teleconferencing services will be key.”
David Hill, Chairman of Cloud Net added, “The service works by the company accessing an online conference calling scheduler where they set up a password protected teleconference room. Then the conference call organiser emails or text the details to their stranded co-workers who can then dial in to speak together.”