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Tube strikes lost London businesses 1.5M of working hours

London businesses lost a total of over 1.5 million working hours during the recent London tube strikes in July and August alone, according to an estimate by communications and collaboration specialist MeetingZone.

Although this week’s strikes have been called off, Londoners still face further misery if a deal isn’t reached between the Unions and London Underground managers, as a further two strikes are planned for 8 and 10 September.

The results are based on a survey commissioned by MeetingZone and conducted by Atomik Research, which surveyed 1000 London commuters. Despite a plethora of communication technologies available and changes to flexible working rules, 72 per cent of London commuters surveyed still felt employers were failing to offer better collaborative and flexible working options amidst the capital’s travel woes.

MeetingZone reminds us that there are many types of unified communication (UC) technologies including Skype for Business and Cisco Webex that can easily allow businesses to collaborate remotely during tube strikes or any other unforeseeable events such as dire weather conditions.

UC technologies include video and voice conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing and ‘presence’ - the ability to see instantly whether someone is available. These technologies enable staff to engage with one another, irrespective of where they are, or what device they’re using - whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The survey also found that only nine per cent of bosses let employees work from home during the recent tube strikes, while 66 per cent of Londoners were late during the strike by an average of 38 minutes each day.

Nearly half of those surveyed (45 per cent) were between 30-minutes – 1 hour late during the travel chaos. More workers in the legal profession were late to work during the strikes as 89% didn’t make it on time

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 8-9 July and 5-6 August 2015.