Tube strike wastes 5.2 million working hours for London businesses

Tube strike plays havoc with London’s productivity, but would greater flexibility and homeworking prevent or increase disruption?

By News Desk
12th June 2009 at 17:38

5.2 million hours lost to London Tube strikeA third of London’s employees suffered disruption as a result of Wednesday’s tube strike according to a survey which shows that businesses in the capital lost the equivalent of 188,000 working days.

5% said they worked from home, 2% said they had to take the day off because of disruption and 1% chose to throw a sickie to avoid having to struggle into the office.

The survey commissioned by Citrix Online found that although 43% of workers said they could be just as productive online, 52% of employers banned staff from homeworking.

A superficially shocking figure, but surely a bit of Blitz spirit in the face of a tube strike is no bad thing.

There’s also the issue of having a strategy, the technology and management procedures in place to allow people to work from home effectively.

Hardly surprising then that business bosses should ban staff from ‘working from home’ as a reaction to the tube strike.

But there’s clearly a need for all businesses large and small to think about what flexible working really means and how it can be implemented to reduce the negative impact of snow, tube strike, or high absence rates.

Also many who claim they’d love to work from home on occasions like this, may actually prefer the buzz and social element of working in the office, if they were offered the choice of more homeworking on a more regular basis.

[Picture credit: Annie Mole, licenced from Flickr]

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