Train or tube strikes, leaves on the line, signal failure – commuting can be such an arduous part of the day. Yet is also a necessity. Or is it?
Living and working for most of my life in London, I’ve spent too much of my life stuck on a packed platform, or hearing the messages “I’m sorry for the delay to your service this morning blah blah blah!” And it’s not just public transport. As I write this, there are commuters running late for work all over the country, due to traffic incidents and roadworks.
In November 2016, The Guardian reported that “the number of workers who commute daily for two hours or more has increased by a third in five years.” They added that this is experienced by 3.7m workers, or 1 in 7 of UK workers.
However, despite knowing that this happens several times each day, month, and year, employers and employees seemingly remain oblivious to the alternatives that can benefit them both.
Every time there’s a delay into work, frustration kicks in, morale suffers and productivity slows. One report even stated that each Tube strike costs the London economy anywhere between £50m-£200m each time. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it’s still a cost that many businesses could reduce.
One thing is for sure, is that if you rely on commuters to travel in to your office to work, your business will – at some point – be impacted and will suffer as a result.
Instead of forcing an employee to force their way in through a train strike, give them the solution to work from home. You’ll then both benefit from a fresh, happy, and more productive member of staff. However.
What if they don’t have the space to work from home?
There is the possibility that your employee’s home may not be conducive for working from. For example, a partner/housemate/etc may already be working from the one table, the house is full of distractions, unreliable Wi-Fi, etc.
Fear not, there is still a solution. Thanks to the growing phenomenon of coworking spaces, your employee can take their laptop to a shared office space which is likely to be near to where they live (so, they still don’t have to commute), allowing them to work with hi-speed Wi-Fi and in a productivity-inducing environment.
The end result is that despite the combined efforts of trade unions and nature, productivity levels aren’t affected, morale remains high and deadlines are still met.
Not only that, but you never know who else may be the using the same coworking space as your employer. While making a coffee, they may well meet a future potential client, supplier or a connection that takes them and your business on the first step of a new collaborative relationship.
If you are reading this as an employee: Contact your nearest co-working space to find out how it works and pricing. Do they offer a free taster day, that you could suggest to your boss, which will benefit them and you?
If you’re reading this as an employer/manager: Create a home-working or coworking policy that could benefit you and your staff when bad weather or a train strike looms.
How has coworking benefited you and your business? What don’t you know about coworking, that you’d like to more of?