Avid fan or couldn’t-care-less, there’s no denying the truly colossal impact of this year’s Olympic Games on not only London, but the country as a whole. With a surge in the use of temps, an increase in people working from home or remote locations, and a boost in flexible working, the business landscape has undergone a monumental shift — and it’s not necessarily a reversible one.
If you’re one of the hundreds of employers that’s embracing the spirit of the Olympics by allowing employees to work flexible hours in an effort to ease their commute, or simply to make it possible for them to watch the events they have a sporting passion for, you may have just discovered a rather powerful tool in your engagement arsenal; because in this new age of redefined priorities, work-life balance is big business — and savvy employers are being quick to capitalise.
If your workforce has enjoyed the relative freedom that flexitime or remote working can bring, you may have noticed a few positive changes yourself — increased productivity, heightened enthusiasm, and an all round energy to name but a few. That’s because when people feel like they’re being trusted (and afforded perks outside the norm), they’re motivated to do well. They’re also far more likely to approach work with gusto if they feel like they’ve got the right balance between their personal and professional lives.
If you’ve granted flexible working for the duration of the Games, but you’re planning on withdrawing it after the final sounds of the closing ceremonies fade into the distance, it might be worth asking yourself why. Is it because no one took work very seriously; is it because not a great deal got done; or is it actually because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do? Because more often than not, flexible and remote workers do take it seriously, and as a result, really rather a lot gets done.
Of course, if you find that your new arrangements prove challenging over the course of the Olympics, you may want to consider giving them a fair trial after all of the sports-related excitement has subsided. Few things in business come without their own teething issues, and it’s likely that you’ll need to work out your own boundaries. But when you’re trying to run a business in a culture that’s increasingly in tune with the needs of its workforce, there will always be somebody out there looking for the perfect excuse to poach your very best workers — and we’d advise not giving them one.
London 2012 is, after all, about creating a lasting legacy for future generations; why not be a part of making that happen?
If you’re not entirely sure how to make flexible working a long-term fixture, or if you never jumped on the Olympic bandwagon in the first place, you could probably benefit from a bit of well meant advice. As the official recruitment services provider to the Games, we can confidently say that we know more than a thing or two about implementing all manner of staffing strategies, and we’d be only too happy to share our expertise with you.
We’re committed to making futures bright; and that goes for yours too.