Businesses will do well to use the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a catalyst to form new flexible working policies and give organisations their own Olympic legacy, regardless of where they are based, says IT specialist Blue Chip.
Anthony Green, Sales and Marketing Director at Blue Chip explains: “In a recent survey of 1200 businesses, BT’s Race to the Line Research published in January found 58% of organisations expect to be affected by London 2012 in one way or another, and a significant number plan to improve flexible working facilities for staff as a way of lessening the impact of disruption.
As well as advocating flexible working technology such as Cisco or Citrix which provide real time access to information from outside the office, Blue Chip highlights key areas where even the most geographically-removed companies from London and the other Olympic venues can take technological measures ahead of the Games:
1. Research from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) showed during the Sydney 2000 Games, 27% of employees took annual leave, 22% worked remotely and 18% travelled to and from work at irregular hours. Have you considered implementing flexible working technology to give employees the option to work around key events?
2. Employees will expect to have access to the Games, especially during key events or when Team GB members are doing well. What is your policy on individuals streaming the Games live over your network, do you know what affect this would have on your infrastructure and business critical applications? Will you show key events on a big screen,streaming it through a single point instead?
3. If you already have flexible working technology in place, test your systems: can they handle the additional impact of an increased number of remotely based workers all having access at the same time? Lloyds TSB asked its entire remote working staff to remain logged in for a whole day to test their systems. Deloitte have gone a step further, testing the band width of home networks to ensure connectivity. What can you do to test yours?
4. Flexible working can be a strong incentive for productivity. A survey of Cisco staff showed two thirds placed higher value on work place flexibility salary. In order to maximise potential, also consider how staff working remotely are managed: induce a trust based culture; provide clear indication of what is expected and how performance will be measured, ensure understanding of roles and contributions to a shared direction and provide collaborative tools for employees to do their job.
5. With over 1 million additional visitors expected in London over the period of the Games, businesses outside the City can negate the need to visit customers there by using video or teleconferencing. Is your business equipped for this?
6. Is your network capacity enough? BT’s survey states that a surge in demand during the 2010 Winter Games gave 23% of Vancouver businesses issues with their network;more than a third wished they had increased capacity. BT’s research shows that for London 2012, 32% of private sector and 18% of public sector organisations are looking to increase network capacity.
7. BT’s survey also showed 4/5 organisations are confident of maintaining service and security during London 2012, despite just 34% having assessed the impact of risks, such as a cyber attack. To what degree have you assessed the risk to your business?
8. Finally, if employees must travel into London, visit the Transport for London website for live travel news on when and where the busiest routes are. TFL have done all the work, testing the Olympic hot spots to provide accurate updates.
The London 2012 Olympic Games take place between 27 July 2012 and 12 August 2012 with the Paralympic Games taking place between 29 August 2012 and 9 September 2012.