The London Olympic Games will provide businesses with many challenges, particularly with regards to the working hours of employees, and thus the concept of flexi time should be considered. On the one hand, the Olympic Games is an occasion that should be enjoyed by all, and no doubt employees will want to watch their favourite events. Furthermore, with an anticipated 3.3 million extra journeys being made on the busiest Olympic days on the London public transport system, commuting to work will have its difficulties. However, the Olympic Games will also mean that businesses, especially those in the service and entertainment sectors, will have the opportunity to capitalise on the massive influx of visitors and will thus require employees to work more hours. This article outlines how businesses can effectively balance these needs through adopting a flexi time working system.
Making Flexi Time Work
In order to minimise strain on the public transport system, the Transport for London has urged businesses to put measures in place to reduce travel to the busiest London areas during peak hours, in order to reduce congestion by one third. Although balancing these requirements will be difficult for many businesses, the Olympic Games also provides the opportunity for businesses to initiate a trial flexi working system, which may or may not be used after the Olympic Games if the advantages of flexi time are realised. There are a few ways to define flexi time. For example employees can start or finish work late, complete tasks out of regular working times and away from the office or simply work from home. However, like with any organisational change, the effectiveness of flexi time needs to be measured to ensure that a flexi time structure works to the benefit of both staff members and employers.
Measuring Flexi Time Effectiveness
Managers need to know how and when their colleagues work- only then can a flexi time system be implemented. Managers also need to know how technology can be used to make communication, information security and general work output more effective. Clear guidelines also need to be set regarding the flexi time contact, as miscommunication and confusion may lower productivity drastically. It is vital to plan ahead, to clearly explain the organisation’s approach to employees as well as its business rationale, and to keep communication channels open.
The O2 Example
One of the UK’s leading mobile network operators O2 initiated a pilot project for a flexi time system earlier this year in preparation of the Olympic challenge. The workforce was asked to avoid the Slough office and the surrounding 200,000 square feet. The results were encouraging and showed that a flexi time system can work. O2 employees effectives saved 2,000 hours of travelling time and half of the employees stated that this extra time was used to do more work.
Penny Munroe is an avid writer in business related news and events. Articles include selecting the best office space Manchester has on offer to implementing an Olympic Games flexi time system for your business.