Hundreds of thousands of people around Ireland have been affected by today’s public transport strikes, with many unable to reach their place of work. For many, that will mean that their entire day is written off. But advances in technology mean they could be just as productive at home as they are in the office.
As more businesses move to enable mobile working for their employees, some of the people facing disruption today will be able to work from home and avoid the chaos on the roads. However, a recent survey conducted by Ricoh Ireland found that two-thirds of all office workers do not have the authorisation or the tools they need to work from home.
That presents a significant problem for Ireland’s employers at times when employees are unable to make it to work due to unforeseen circumstances. Ricoh Ireland’s workstyle innovation survey found that 38% percent of Irish businesses had employees that were unable to make it to the office during last year’s public transport strikes by operators including Luas and Dublin Bus. As this morning’s strikes were far larger in scale, and completely unexpected, they are certain to have affected many more people as a result.
Gary Hopwood, general manager, Ricoh Ireland, commented: “This morning’s strikes have affected hundreds of thousands of people around the country and have led to Irish businesses losing an enormous amount of time and money. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Our research has found that employees are pushing for more flexible workstyles – but businesses are holding back due to outdated workstyles and a lack of the right IT systems. Some 76% of Irish businesses say they are under pressure from employees to embrace mobile working technology – yet they’re not doing it. Such reluctance to mobilise the workforce inhibits business success and growth. The cost to individual businesses and the economy on days like today is therefore huge.
“With the ready availability of systems and devices designed to increase flexibility and help employees be productive from wherever they work, interruptions like transport strikes shouldn’t write off entire days.”