UK companies unprepared for London 2012
With fewer than 1,000 days to the start of London 2012, the majority of UK companies are unprepared for how the Olympic Games will impact their business and staff, according to a new survey by BT Global Services.
Almost half (44 percent) of board-level executives surveyed said they are unaware what activities will be happening in their area. This is despite the fact that the Games are due to take place in 34 venues across the UK, including, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Weymouth, while over 600 athletes training camps will be stationed nationwide.
The number of people using public transport is expected to rise to 800,000* during the busiest day of the Games – equivalent to the entire population of Leeds – and approximately 300,000 foreign visitors are due to stay in Britain during this time. It is therefore vital that UK companies take the necessary steps to minimise disruption.
A third of companies surveyed said they had not yet made assessments for how the Games would affect their staff, while just 13 percent have set in place provisions to ensure that any resulting increase in workflow can be managed carefully.
Only 22 percent of businesses have a fully-implemented, flexible working policy in place. Of those that do not have a policy, nearly half are unsure whether it is achievable to install flexible working technologies in time, so that staff could work from home or elsewhere during the Games.
With more than 9.2 million* tickets expected to be sold for the Games, customer contact centres will also be under pressure to cope with huge call volumes 24 hours a day, and even to support multilingual inquiries. Yet despite a third of retailers expecting an increase in call centre volumes during the Games, less than half (44 percent) have made provisions for this.
Despite the lack of flexible working policies in place, the overwhelming majority of businesses recognise the benefits of having a flexible workforce. Safety and security are key to this with 94 percent of those surveyed believing a successful policy could support their business continuity plans. The majority also said it would help minimise the effects of transport disruption (73 percent), pandemics (66 percent) and natural disasters (64 percent).
The report highlights further advantages that a flexible working policy can bring, including improved productivity, reduced costs and attracting and keeping talented employees. Some 65 percent of businesses agreed it would help their people achieve a better work/life balance and more than half (55 percent) felt it would ultimately result in happier staff.
Some businesses are adopting a short term approach to the Games.