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The Business Continuity Institute has issued advice for London-based businesses that are impacted by industrial action by London Underground workers.

In an article written by the BCI’s senior communications manager, Andrew Scott, the following suggestions are made:

Work away from the office

“For those people who are office based, do you really need to be there?” asks Mr. Scott. “For many people work is an activity, not a location. With the right equipment, those activities should be able to be carried out anywhere without the need to be in a specific location. Yes, it's always nice to have face to face conversations with colleagues, but I'm sure you can survive without them for a short period of time. Can your staff work from home, or perhaps another office location?”

Use video-conferencing

“Many of us spend large chunks of our time in meetings and need to travel to get there, so it is important to consider whether you actually need to attend that meeting in person - could it be done by video-conferencing, or just over the telephone. You never know, you might even discover that a face to face meeting was completely unnecessary in the first place and so save yourself time and money in the future by carrying them out over the phone,” writes Mr. Scott.

Change work patterns

“Of course there are scenarios in which work is a physical location … so managers need to consider what their options are. Can work patterns be arranged so that staff who live closer to work come in rather than those further afield and then even it up once the disruption is over?” asks  Mr. Scott. “It is important that all staff are treated fairly and none are given extra workloads just because they live closer. Can other methods of transport be arranged to help staff get to work? If staff must attend their place of work then perhaps their hours could be made more flexible so that they are not travelling during rush hour.”

Prioritise activities

“As with any situation in which staff numbers may be limited, prioritise the activities that are required to be carried out, and then prioritise the staff that are required to compete these activities,” says Mr. Scott.

Communicate well

“Communications throughout is vital,” states Mr. Scott. “This includes internal communication with staff to let them know any arrangements that have been put in place which may affect them. It also includes communications with your customers to let them know what is going on - will you still be open, will you have a reduced service? Customers are always far more understanding about a disruption if they are kept informed.”

Read the complete article here.

Reader comment

“With the speed of business ever increasing, the amount of inconvenience caused by these travel disruptions is increasing too. Businesses must start thinking about providing their employees with the ability to work from any location, not just their city offices, and developing new working practices that can keep business moving 24/7.

“Turning to new technologies, including Desktop-as-a-Service solutions, could be the answer.  If the workforce can access business critical information from any device or location – whether at home, at a satellite office or even within a shared office space - this would reduce the need for many to spend hours seeking alternative modes of transport. We could expect an increase in employee productivity, not to mention reducing some of the pressure on our already struggling public transport services.

“Ultimately, contribution to your business is not measured by office presence, but in results and value – does it really matter where they are achieved from?” 

Daren Howell, proposition marketing manager, Sungard Availability Services

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