Look, Then Leap

It may be easier than you think to maintain “business as usual” despite hurdles such as the Olympics.

From Danny Boyle’s inspiring opening ceremony staged by thousands of volunteers to the incredible feats performed by the world’s top athletes, it’s been an amazing first week for the Olympics.

We should also congratulate London’s public transport services. According to news reports and our own observations, there has been less disruption to commuters than expected. I think this can be attributed, at least in part, to the number of businesses embracing flexible working, which has lessened congestion in the capital.

The benefits certainly stack up. For example, according to an experiment carried out by O2 ahead of the Olympics, 88 per cent of employees were just as productive working remotely, with one-third even finishing more work than usual.

These positive results are due to the right preparation and the right technology, which together enable businesses with remote staff to match, and even surpass, the productivity of office workers.

Making it happen

A common misconception is that implementing an effective flexible working solution is an intensive and costly process. In fact, it can be surprisingly easy, as well as affordable. Today’s remote working software is effective across a wide range of corporate and consumer devices. In many cases, this means that staff will be able to use their own devices, resulting in productivity boosts and cost savings for the business. And since the software is simple to install, apps can be loaded on select devices quickly and tailored to individual employee needs.

Of course, another barrier to the spread of flexible working is the widely held belief that the practice is a “skiver’s paradise”, as Boris Johnson put it. I have to respectfully disagree with the mayor of London. As more businesses experience the benefits highlighted by the O2 experiment, we’ll see flexible working become much more commonplace, in both the next few weeks and the foreseeable future. In addition to world-class facilities, urban regeneration and golden memories, the Games will leave a lasting legacy with flexible working.

London Commuter Mood

We’ve been monitoring the mood of London’s commuters on Twitter during our summer of sport, and it’s been a fascinating experiment so far. It remains to be seen whether the current low levels of disruption will continue. Follow @GoToMeetingUK for our daily #LoCoMo updates!

Photo credit: pondspider.