London businesses lost more than 1.5 million working hours during the recent London tube strikes in July and August alone, estimates MeetingZone, the Thame-based communications and collaboration specialist.
Although this week’s strikes have been called off, those living or working in London still face further misery if a deal is not reached between the unions and London Underground managers, as a further two strikes are planned for September 8 and 10.
The results are based on a survey commissioned by MeetingZone and conducted by Atomik Research, which surveyed 1,000 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 when the capital had travel problems.
The survey also found that only 9% of bosses let employees work from home during the recent tube strikes, and that 66% of Londoners were late during the tube strikes by an average of 38 minutes each day.
“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 chief executive 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.
“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 commuters waste,” said 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 July 8-9 and August 5-6.