What tube strike?! Why your office should be wherever you choose this week

Business as usual. In today’s digital age, when travel disruption hits, that’s what it should be. However, more often than not this is not the case

The estimated financial impact of the tube strike varies, but recent research suggests it could wipe a total of £10 million off the capital’s economy as workers arrive late, leave early, and spend hours in traffic jams.

Every time a strike hits we’re given advice on navigating London in a tube-deprived state but it still doesn’t stop commuters being worn out and late for the journey. This raises a wider point, and a more pressing issue: why don’t more employers grant their teams the freedom to work from a more convenient location, instead of constraining the workforce to outdated perceptions of a productive environment?

Many employers have been reluctant to give their workforce increased flexibility for fear of people being less productive when working remotely, from a coffee shop, art gallery, balcony or bedroom. But in more recent times, Millennials have invaded the workplace, and bring with them an “always on” worth ethic, which challenges the status-quo of outdated offices and demonstrates that productivity can happen at any time, anywhere.

Office workers today are highly techy. We all know someone with an Apple Watch, the latest iPhone, or even that guy in IT with Google Cardboard. They are already highly mobile and consumerised in their own lives, and are ready to expect the same standard of technology to help them make their jobs easier, including flexible collaboration with colleagues around the world.

In a recent survey by join.me, 52 per cent of under-35s said they held external meetings online, rather than face-to-face. Many of these meetings are spur-of-the-moment, short and productive, and don’t require sitting around a desk in a meeting room. This attitude is only set to increase as more Millennials enter the workforce. We’ll see a definitive, permanent shift to a more mobile, connected and collaborative work environment.

If employers are looking to make the move towards increased mobile working, maybe the tube strike is a good enough time as any to test the water. Here are some handy tips for virtual collaboration:

  • Businesses will need to embrace and implement technologies that enable fast and reliable on-the-go work, and mobile meetings.
  • It’s important to ensure these platforms integrate with each other, to provide an easy, seamless work experience.
  • Choose platforms that are optimised for most smart devices - including the ones that haven’t even been invented yet.
  • Think beyond bricks-and mortar office space, to accommodate flexible schedules, and consider turning any space with WiFi into a potential work location.

Stephen Duignan, VP of International Marketing, LogMeIn

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