Last month London was held to ransom by the train strikes, and the word on the street (the paper I read over someones shoulder on my commute) is that there will be another full strike on the 5th of August.

Train strikes make people, myself included, raucously angry at the world. But I found myself questioning this stance during the last strike. We have the cloud, so why are we all so mad?

[easy-tweet tweet=”Tube strikes don’t have to mean a complete stop-work” user=”rhian_wilkinson and @comparethecloud” hashtags=”tubestrike, cloud”]

I chose not to try and commute during the last strike – because I didn’t have to, and you probably didn’t have to either.

The people impacted the worst by tube strikes are the doctors and nurses that couldn’t make it to their shifts on time – potentially putting lives in danger. But for the rest of us, with admittedly non-essential careers, I have to ask again, why were we so mad?

We have the internet. We have the cloud. There is very little of my work that I cannot do from my home computer, a glorious advantage during strike action. Consumerisation of IT means that you probably have a very similar set of kit at home as to what is in your office. 

Most companies now have cloud functionality to the point where we can, at a push, work remotely at a high level.

Admittedly the July 9th strike came with very short notice, and working out of office can require some preparation. Ahead of the proposed strike on August 5th, instead of getting worked up about your commute – get working now to prepare yourself.

Most of you will already have access to emails, presumably on your phone or accessible through your home browser. File sharing services like Dropbox and GoogleDocs mean that you can continue to co-work on documents with your colleagues – and there is always Facetime and Skype if you really need to convey something face to face.

Conference calls can be dialled into remotely, and even if your house has awful reception, you have no excuse for missing a call thanks to VoIP services.

Tube strikes don’t have to mean a complete stop-work, or that you have to be crammed into someones armpit for 2 hours on a replacement bus that smells like it probably should have been retired a number of years ago.

If you are going to avoid the hassle of travelling during the next strike, be smart about your preparation. Check the security of your home connection, make sure your antivirus is up to date, and if you’re in doubt about anything talk to your IT department.

The cloud enables a free working environment. There are situations which you cannot get around sometimes, but if it is as simple as rescheduling a few meetings – why not work remotely on August 5th? Save yourself some time and stress, just remember to say a little thank you to the cloud gods.

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