Don’t panic! There is still time for businesses to survive the Olympic chaos!
With only one week to go, for many, anticipation over the London Olympics has begun to turn into panic. Andrew Millard, senior director of Marketing, EMEA at Citrix Online Service Division, discusses his top tips on how businesses can still avoid workforce down-time during this period and keep calm and carry on!
It is clear that with predicted bus strikes, the multiple closures of the City’s underground stations and roads, and the extra strain on remaining transport systems, congestion within the City will outstretch its capacity during The Games.
A recent survey commissioned by Citrix revealed that almost half (41%) of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the London area expect to suffer disruption as a direct result of the 2012 Olympics. Yet only one in five (21%) have put a business continuity plan in place and there has been little advice offered to organisations from the government on how to address this.
Businesses do not need to take unnecessary risks by burying their heads in the sand. There are many solutions available which will support businesses through this period. Remote working technology will enable organisations to allow their staff to work from home and maintain ‘business as usual’ through software that supports online meetings, conferences, training and simple, safe and secure access to a corporate network.
Here is a last minute guide to help organisations implement a successful flexible working strategy:
Businesses that allow their staff to work remotely must look at the capabilities of their existing technology in supporting this way of working. If current systems do not support the organisation’s requirements, whether this is online trainings and meetings, or simply accessing their desk PC’s remotely, then the business must look to alternative solutions now.
Adopt appropriate remote working software
Remote working software provides organisations with a solution that allows them to support their employees and enable them to work as usual during disruptive events such as the Olympics. Whether it is secure access to VPNs or attending an online meeting, all organisations can benefit from having technology in place to support remote working.
Review staffing arrangements
It is highly probable that during the disruption, most organisations will experience some level of absenteeism or lateness. It is vital that businesses plan now for potential staff issues such as:
- Higher levels of absence
- Annual leave
- Loss of productivity through lateness and distractions
- Time off for Games volunteering
By planning now and allowing staff to work remotely or change their working hours to off-peak times businesses can take better control of what will be an unpredictable situation.
In order to avoid major disruptions to employees’ journeys, business travel, deliveries, collections and the operations of suppliers and other contractors, employers must consider other options, such as:
- Arranging deliveries out of peak times
- Reducing all non-essential travel
- Allow for staff to work remotely
- Consider alternative working hours
By taking these simple steps now businesses and organisations can ensure that productivity is maintained and business interruptions are minimised.
With recent IDC predictions stating that more than one-third of the world’s workforce will be mobile by 2015, it is clear that working practices are changing.
Today’s workforce is demanding a more flexible approach and the technologies to support it. Likewise businesses have begun to realise the positive impact flexible working can have on productivity and also their bottom line. Collaborative, remote working technology is providing the workforce with a flexible ‘office in the pocket’ solution and with events like the London Olympics almost upon us, this will be a crucial tool for organisations to maintain business as usual. While these solutions will provide answers for short-term problems like the Olympics, businesses should be using the event as a catalyst to consider a long-term strategy for future change. Businesses and organisations can find out more about avoiding Olympic disruption with The Citrix Guide for SURVIVING THE OLYMPICS.
To help support businesses through the travel chaos of the Olympics, Citrix is offering free use of products to new users for the duration of the Games. Please visit gotomeeting.co.uk or gotomypc.co.uk and enter the code: GOTOGOLD.