Fifty-eight days from now, the answers to many questions around the Olympics will start to emerge. We will find out whether James Bond will receive a knighthood from the Queen
, if Heathrow will be able to withstand the massive surge in arrivals
, but more importantly to me, we will find out just how many people work from home and how it works out.
The civil service is offering ‘flexi-working’
(partly I suspect because nobody likes a buzzword better than the civil service), with a number of government departments allowing employees to work from home during the entire Olympic and Paralympic periods. In its eyes, non-essential staff can still do their work from home without the country grinding to a halt.
The private sector in the capital would also seem to be tempted by the opportunity to try out more flexible practices. A survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
found that 52 per cent of companies plan to make their working practices more flexible, with 13 per cent saying they will actively encourage employees to work from home in order to minimize the disruptions caused to travel by the games.
The outcome might not be as interesting as the 4x100 metre relay finals, but the answer to how much of an impact having a significant part of your workforce do their work from home has on productivity will be interesting.
Personally, I can’t wait to read the story headlined ‘Buyer sacked for tweeting about beach volleyball when he was meant to be meeting supplier’.