Is your business ready for the Olympics?

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With less than 100 days to go, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are just around the corner – how prepared are you for the disruptions the Games may cause to your business?

During the Olympics, UK businesses will find themselves affected by a number of different factors, least not of all, potential staffing issues. It is vital contingency plans are in place well in advance of the games, if not already in full

Plan for the Olympics 2012

The Olympics 2012 are just around the corner - does your business have contingency plans in place yet?

motion. To ensure smooth running for your business, and avoid potentially major troubles, appropriate review and plans should be made for flexible working, annual leave, and increased travel times.

If not in place already, the opportunity for flexible working hours would be ideal to allow your staff to experience the excitement of the Olympics, as well as ensuring those with personal responsibilities such as child care, can still fulfil them. Staff should also be made aware of any instances where their presence is required on site so they can forward plan for every eventuality. Volunteers from your workforce who do not have such responsibilities and can guarantee their attendance can be recruited as cover for other staff members.

If working from home is a viable option for your business, ensure that all staff have the correct level of remote access required for internal systems and are trained so that they can complete their duties efficiently off site. It is important to ensure all equipment is in place well in advance of agreed home working days to avoid uncompleted tasks and delayed timescales.

Annual leave will also be popular, with many hoping to catch the Games from home or for those lucky enough, in person. It may prove useful to have all annual leave requests confirmed as soon as possible to ensure sufficient absence cover is arranged. You may find in this instance that temporary staff will be required to help cover leave, should you not have a Managed Service provider to assist you with this cover. It is essential you build relationships with temporary agencies so to understand your employee cover needs. Recruiting temporary staff ensures your customers receive consistent service and the productivity of your business remains unaffected.

And it is not only London businesses that will be affected, areas across the UK such as Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle will also be hosting the Games. If you are based locally to an Olympic venue, you can expect travel times to increase dramatically. Preparation is key when travelling and it will prove invaluable to have staff plan up to 3 different routes to work so to avoid potential “hot spots”. It may be useful to investigate when the venues are likely to be visited and alert staff accordingly to potential disruptions to their journey.

Should staff not be able to attend work due to travel it would be advantageous to call in short notice temporary agency cover – again, it is important to ensure that your Managed Service Provider or agency are aware of the potential requirements (such as business critical roles) so they have a pool of candidates who may be available to cover on short notice.

With contingencies in place which suit your business requirements, you will be able to proactively and reactively adjust to any issues that may arise as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is important to remember that this is a once in a life experience, and should be enjoyed by you and your staff. With the correct planning in place, you will be able to do just that.

Written by Holly Fenton, a Managed Services Recruitment Consultant at PPS.

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