The cost of living crisis and Russian invasion of Ukraine has put enormous stress on the UK’s energy sources. The result is a warning from the National Grid that this coming winter could see planned, temporary rolling blackouts used across the country, in order to help manage demand.

Much advice has been offered to consumers and individuals about how best to manage this situation, but what about businesses?

Here’s all you need to know in case the blackouts do indeed come this winter.

1. Plan

Preparation is key for businesses to manage operations in the event of a blackout. There has been fair warning from the National Grid, so business owners should be using this time to draw up comprehensive contingency plans and identify any steps that can be taken now to minimise disruption.

2. Be flexible

The changes to everyday work as a result of the pandemic could come in handy here, as businesses today are more amenable to shifts from the regular working pattern.

Allowing your staff to work remotely if it would prove to be more productive (if your office is in the blackout area but their home isn’t, for example), could drastically minimise any impact. You could also shift working times or patterns, to avoid the three-hour window without power.

3. Educate

Even when the power drops, mobile connectivity is likely to be unaffected. This means that anyone with sufficient charge to their laptop and mobile devices, and the knowledge of how to turn the latter into a WiFi hotspot, could work away without seeing much impact at all.

Ensure your staff know how to do this and keep their devices charged ahead of a planned outage, to better guarantee they can continue working as usual.

4. Listen

This isn’t just a one-way conversation. Staff members may be concerned about the blackouts, or may even have ideas of their own on how to effectively ride them out with no disruption to business operations. By opening a dialogue with your teams you will not only get more ideas, but will also foster a sense of listening and responding to the needs of your staff members – which will likely provide business benefits that will long outlast any short-term power outages.