Preparing your business for the Olympics
Unless you operate out of central London, it’s highly likely that any disruption to your business caused by the Games will be minimal, if non-existent.
Unless you operate out of central London, it’s highly likely that any disruption to your business caused by the Games will be minimal, if non-existent. However, for many businesses based in and around Greater London, London 2012 presents a number of challenges – challenges that do have the potential to affect businesses across the country if left unchecked.
“We’ve experimented with a few scenarios to help us maintain our operations”, explains Chris Skarratt, co-founder of Silversun, a small TV production firm in Soho. “We know courier services will be disrupted, so we’ve invested in technology to send many of our projects securely online and upgraded our broadband capabilities to cope”. “We’ve also talked to staff about working from home or doing flexible hours – we’re just trying to cover all bases”, continues Skarratt.
They’re wise to be doing so. According to the British Council for Offices, fewer than 1 in 10 employees will be allowed to work from home during the Games. This statistic does not bode well with findings from recruitment specialist Badenoch & Clark, who have revealed that nearly 16% of staff will consider taking a ’sickie’ to watch the Olympic torch relay that will be travelling around the UK throughout May and June, as well as the Games itself. As Matthew Wallace, head of workplace at BskyB, comments: “the Games should be acting as a catalyst to remind businesses of the benefits of working flexibly”.
The Games - in dates and numbers:
Olympic Games: 27th July – 12th August 2012
Paralympic Games: 29th August – 9th September 2012.
- £11bn price tag to host the Games
- 10,500 athletes and 8.8 million tickets issued
- 37 competition venues across the UK, 27 of which are in London
- 636 competition sessions across 26 sports
- 500,000 visitors to London everyday throughout the Games
- 24% temporary ‘Games Lanes’ to be created by sharing bus lanes
- 1% of London roads incorporated to form part of an Olympic Road
The organisers of London 2012 have produced a document to help businesses prepare for the Games. To make the most of this information, we’ve summarised the key considerations for your business below:
- A reduced workforce
How many of your employees have confirmed their holidays over the Games period? Worse still, they may consider ringing in sick. Introducing more flexible ways of working will limit disruption for your business – it may even increase productivity.
- Slower internet services
Some of your employees are working from home during the Games: will their internet service be fast enough if an increased number of people are accessing the internet? Ensure that if your employees are working remotely, they have the resources to work effectively.
- Slower mobile networks
Which business doesn’t operate without mobile phones these days? It’s worth noting that at times of peak demand, the networks could run slower, making it difficult to stay in touch and access information remotely. Plan to upload and download larger content, such as files or images, outside peak times.
- Journey times across London
Your business may not be based in London, but are any of your suppliers? Getting across London to visit clients or attend meetings may require a little pre-planning: london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness
- Road network disruption
Don’t forget, 10 competition venues are outside London, with significant activity also taking place in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset; Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; and Hadleigh Farm, Essex. The Football competition is also being played in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
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