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Businesses need to prepare for impact of Olympics

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The UK is only six months away from the Olympic Games, but many companies have not prepared for the impact it will have, according to new research.

When Badenoch & Clark spoke to 1,000 office workers in order to gain a picture of the preparedness of business, it found many were lacking a strategy.

Of the respondents, 70.5 per cent said that they had not yet drawn up a policy on when and how much leave employees will be able to take during the Games.

In the last five months 9.4 per cent have decided on their strategy with the majority of others waiting till the last minute or not fully comprehending the impact it will have.

9.2 per cent of employers who have decided on a strategy will allow leave on a first come first served basis, with the most organised members of staff advised to put their requests in as early as possible.

Key Olympic dates will see no leave granted at all in 4.8 per cent of those who have decided on their stance.

Since the research was conducted across the entirety of Britain, it would be expected that London would be leading the trend for businesses thinking ahead on this issue, but this is not the case.

The host city is home to businesses 62.3 per cent of which have not finalised and communicated their Olympic Games plans to their staff.

Northern Ireland and Scotland remain the furthest behind with the east of the country being the most ready with strategies in place.

Nicola Linkleter, managing director for Badenoch & Clark, said: “Given the immense interest the London Olympic Games will create among workers, this is poor planning that could lead to employee discontent, confusion and threadbare cover.”

As well as staff expected to take time off in order to watch the Games, it is thought that transport issues, especially in the capital, will add to the problems for businesses.

An increased number of people will work from home or undertake mobile working during the Games or even be more flexible in their hours in order to bypass busy travelling times.

Businesses need to have strategies and contingency plans in order to minimise the disruption and communicate them to staff in advance.