Tube Strikes Force Home Working

As Londoners brace themselves for the second wave of major tube strikes this year, city workers will not only use alternative routes and modes of transport but will look to avoid the disruption all together by working remotely.
During the recent tube strikes in February, according to official data from video conference provider Blue Jeans Network, over a quarter (27%) of its customers took advantage of technology that allows them to work as usual from other locations.

The figures, collected from nearly 1000 London-based Blue Jeans users, revealed a 27% rise in video conference meetings on Wednesday and Thursday (the height of disruption) compared to the same days in previous weeks this year, as the capital’s professionals communicated with colleagues and clients from alternative locations.

With this month’s tube strikes set to last a total of five days, Blue Jeans is predicting an even greater number of people will choose to work from home or their local cafe as Londoners become increasingly frustrated by the prolonged disruption to their travel plans.

Commenting on the prediction, Blue Jeans Network vice president and general manager for EMEA, James Campanini, said: “While London’s workers have long been known for their determination to make it into work no matter what, last February’s tube strikes revealed that a large proportion of workers chose to avoid travelling into the office altogether.

With this month’s strikes set to last for a longer period, Blue Jeans expects that an even greater number of people will choose to work from an alternative location to remain productive and avoid the travel disruption experienced during the last strikes.

Professional technology solutions now mean the best option for many workers is to work from home, especially during industrial action or bad weather. Nevertheless, as the need for remote working increases, employers need to provide their staff with suitable enterprise-quality tools and policies to allow them to work remotely – whether that’s at home, a coffee shop or even a stranded train. While tools like telephone and email have long been part and parcel of remote working, they do not provide the much needed face-to-face collaboration modern workers crave, especially when unexpectedly stuck at home for a number of days. It is more important than ever that organisations have the correct technologies in place to make working from anywhere as seamless a transition from the office desk as possible.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine