Today’s (Monday 9th January) tube strike massively impacts businesses in the capital and many offices operate with skeleton staff as employees can’t get to their workplace.
Members of the RMT and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) unions took industrial action in protest at plans to close ticket offices on the London Underground.
A total of 114 stations closed and 75 had trains running through but not stopping, causing widespread delays across the city.
Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK, says, ‘With London slowly grinding to a halt with today’s Tube Strike and Southern Rail continuing to cause disruption, the benefits of working from home are quickly coming into focus.
As the rain gets heavier, the queues get longer and desks remain empty, businesses should consider the benefits of offering flexible working if they wish to keep workplace productivity immune from external disruption.’
Research from Robert Half UK reveals that remote working increased by more than a third (37 per cent) in three years and 50 per cent of employers in London have expanded remote working opportunities.
Concerns that remote working without direct physical supervision leads to a decline in productivity appear to be increasingly unfounded. Especially if the alternative is hours of travel time and low employee morale.
Of the HR directors surveyed over half (51 per cent) think greater employee autonomy would actually boost creativity and almost half (45 per cent) believe it makes employees easier to manage. While there are certain roles where remote working and full flexibility cannot be offered, through advancements in technology employees who can work just as effectively away from the traditional office environment, can continue to make sharing, communicating and collaborating seamless and secure.
Sheridan concludes, ‘Today’s transport turmoil must be used as a catalyst for businesses to ensure they have a proper flexible working structure in place. The needs of employees must be balanced with business objectives. Productivity isn’t determined by location, but is by motivation. A business with the capability of offering remote working will benefit from increased productivity, happier employees and a will weather the current storm of the turbulent transport in the UK.’