“Tube strike turmoil MUST be used as catalyst for businesses”

The Tube strike caused havoc for the capital's businesses, with many offices operating with skeleton staff. Time to adopt a flexible working policy?

Millions of London commuters faced major travel disruption this week as a result of the 24 hour London Tube strike.

In light of the Tube strike and its impact on businesses across the capital, Phil Sheridan – senior managing director at recruitment agency Robert Half UK – argues the case for employers of all sizes to adopt a flexible working policy:

“With London slowly grinding to a halt with the Tube Strike[…], 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 revealed that remote working has increased by more than a third (37%) in three years and 50% 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 we surveyed, 51% thought greater employee autonomy would actually boost creativity and 45% believe it makes employees easier to manage. While there are certain roles where remote working and full flexibility cannot be offered, advancements in technology mean employees who can work just as effectively away from the traditional office environment can continue to make sharing, communicating and collaborating seamless and secure.

“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, by motivation. A business with the capability of offering remote working will benefit from increased productivity and happier employees and will weather the current storm of turbulent transport in the UK.”

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