Sitting in our tranquil office surrounded by greenery, more than 225 miles away from London, we are free to chuckle away at the #tubestrike social media updates, recently featuring an angry OAP and a penny farthing rider. However beneath those rather sadistic chortles, we are all too aware that public transport strikes can pop up anywhere at any time so it’s important to be prepared. To balance the karma of finding humour in others misfortunes, we’ve put together 5 top tips for staying productive in the face of crisis.
Avoid travelling at all costs and work from home – Seriously, this might be your best bet, buddy, for those who dare to brave the outside world in the midst of a public transport strike don’t all come back unscathed. With determined employees desperately trying to reach the safe haven of their workplace, it’s every man for himself. It’s a game of survival of the fittest and only those with enough cunning and agility will make it aboard the preeminent rail replacement bus.
Instead of wasting valuable hours and sky-rocketing your blood pressure into the stratosphere, remain in the comfort of your own home where you can put the kettle on and get cracking, stress free. Setting up a temporary office at home for the day means you get to dodge the hostile pandemonium and avoid wasting any profitable working time.
Camp out at your favourite coffee shop – If working from home just isn’t an option for you and for many it won’t be, hide away from the hullabaloo for a wee while at a nearby café. Pack up your laptop and make sure your phone is fully charged so you can take them with you and get a head start while everybody else battles it out for the next available cab.
If there was ever the perfect excuse to head to your favourite coffee shop, pull up a chair and order a ‘super-skinny, decaf, triple chocolate frappe mochaccino with soy milk and a million and one caramel sprinkles’ then a transport strike is the time. Arrive into work after the early morning chaos has died down refreshed, ready to work and high off caramel sprinkles.
Start late, stay late. Simples. – Another great way to avoid the carnage that is likely to ensue between 8am and 9am (and then repeat all over again between 5pm and 6pm) is to simply adjust your working hours accordingly. Like a graceful swan weaving its way between a haggle of hyperactive ducks trying to seize the last hunk of bread, you will arrive into work with not a single ruffled feather in sight, ready to tackle the day ahead.
Shifting your regular hours means you can get the best of both worlds by avoiding the madness and clocking in the same amount of working time as usual. Remember, if you are thinking of rearranging your day in the event of a public transport strike by working at home or adjusting your hours, be sure to inform or arrange it with your boss beforehand. The last thing you want is travel disruption and a disciplinary so consider yourselves warned.
Use your commute constructively for once – The morning and evening commute are both likely to seriously increase your stress levels at the best of times but during a transport strike, it really ain’t going to be pretty. So if you do choose to bite the bullet and head to work as normal, in the face of strike hostility, find some more constructive ways to spend your journey.
Violently tapping your foot in frustration and sighing so loudly you spray the person in front of you with venomous saliva will only leave you with a bad ankle and dangerously high blood pressure. Make a positive out of a negative and use the time to catch up on the latest industry news, get ahead of emails and business calls or refresh your social media profiles. You’ll feel much better for it, we promise and you never know, you might even start enjoying yourself. Check out some more useful tips for making your commute more constructive right here.
Take advantage of the wonders of technology – As a lucky member of the 21st Century, you have been blessed with access to the miraculous magic that has come to be known as modern technology. Some of you might be cursing it right now as you would really rather take a transport strike as a legitimate reason for a day off but while it won’t get you off the hook, technology does mean you can keep productivity levels high even during times of social crisis. When a lack of trains scupper your schedule of meetings for the day or a tube drought limits your access to emails, look to online applications like Skype and WhatsApp to keep the cogs turning.
Milk the benefits of services like video calls and instant messaging because what else are they there for? Okay, yeah, maybe they are there for swapping pictures of your lunch and stalking your latest love conquest too but they’re also pretty useful for working remotely. Cloud-based software such as Microsoft Office 365 is also great because it can be accessed from anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, so whether you’re on the bus, at home or hiding in a coffee shop corner, productivity doesn’t have to suffer.