Tube Strikes Cost Businesses 1.5m Working Hours

2 min read Conferencing
MeetingZone estimates that London businesses lost a total of over 1.5 million working hours during the recent London tube strikes in July and August alone.

Although this week’s strikes have been called off, Londoners still face further misery if a deal isn’t reached between the Unions and London Underground managers, as a further two strikes are planned for 8 and 10 September.

The results are based on a survey commissioned by MeetingZone and conducted by Atomik Research, which surveyed 1000 London commuters. Despite a plethora of communication technologies available and changes to flexible working rules, 72% of London commuters surveyed still felt employers were failing to offer better collaborative and flexible working options amidst the capital’s travel woes.

The survey also found that:

•Only 9% of bosses let employees work from home during the recent tube strikes

•66% of Londoners were late during the tube strikes by an average of 38 minutes each day.

•Nearly half of those surveyed (45%) were between 30-minutes – 1 hour late during the travel chaos.

•More workers in the legal profession were late to work during the strikes as 89% didn’t make it on time

“It’s shocking that in this day and age we’re wasting so much time trying to get into the office when we have the technology at our fingertips to make flexible working a reality,” said MeetingZone CEO Steve Gandy. “London businesses have already lost a total of over 1.5 million working hours during recent tube strikes, and with more planned as this dispute continues, it looks like businesses – and commuters – will have to face unnecessary travel woes.”

There are many types of unified communication (UC) technologies including Skype for Business and Cisco Webex. They can easily allow businesses to collaborate remotely during tube strikes or any other unforeseeable events such as dire weather conditions. UC technologies include video and voice conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing and ‘presence’ - the ability to see instantly whether someone is available. These technologies enable staff to engage with one another, irrespective of where they are, or what device they’re using - whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

“Senior management need to realise the work landscape has changed and stop blocking the adoption of flexible working practices. The tube strikes in London should be the turning point for companies to start thinking about flexible working options to reduce the amount of time commuter’s waste.” concluded Gandy.

The recent strikes, part of an ongoing dispute over plans to introduce 24 hour Tube services at weekends, were the worst since 2002. The entire London Underground network came to a standstill after shutting down on 8-9 July and 5-6 August 2015.