Cost of snow to UK economy is £11 billion

The Momentum UK Team 18 January 2013

Every year it is estimated that snow and ice costs the UK economy £11 billion a year due to workers being unable to make it into the office, new research has shown.

The study by Esure suggests that the winter weather results in a noticeable drop in productivity as offices around the UK are left empty or understaffed.

When asked, 80% of the UK public agreed that the nation is less productive when it shows, with three quarters saying that they do not feel the country is adequately prepared for winter conditions.

Of those asked 43% said that they have been stranded at home due to transport problems, and 70% worry about their safety on icy roads.

With so many citing dangerous driving conditions as a large factor to the disruption, preparation with regards to keeping the roads snow and ice free could have a positive impact on nationwide productivity.

However despite blaming the roads many could argue that employee productivity drops at the first sign of snow, regardless of driving conditions.

Almost one in five Brits have used snow and ice as an excuse to not go into work. Whilst when working from home, one in ten admit to sending an email at the start and end of the day, but not bothering inbetween. Furthermore, 19% of those asked admitted to treating a snow day as if it were a day off.

However, despite personal attitudes towards snow days, Mike Pickard from esure does encourage drivers to take extra caution when driving on roads covered in ice and snow.

"We would urge drivers not to take any unnecessary risks during the cold weather season and to not underestimate the effects that ice and snow can have on our roads. If you are going into the office, simple safety measures such as checking your vehicle before setting off, or keeping an emergency breakdown kit in the vehicle could prevent a potentially unpleasant experience."