Businesses Brace for Olympic Chaos
Businesses across London are bracing themselves for the battle that is just beginning ΓÇô as hundreds of thousands of Games enthusiasts descend upon the city.
On its busiest days, London is expected to see 3 million extra journeys; for which the government has set aside dedicated Games Lanes (pictured) to ensure no one is late for the Olympics.
But there are no dedicated lanes for business. HereΓÇÖs a few of the biggest local concerns and their simplest solutions…
In a survey undertaken by telecoms provider BT this year, an incredible 30% of London businesses had no plans to adapt their usual practices for the Olympics this summer, even though 93% expected a serious negative impact on business.
However, the other 70% have been going about adapting their opening times so that staff arenΓÇÖt travelling at peak times and therefore wasting their working hours sardined on the underground with 500,000 other stationary travellers.
Other businesses have set up the provisions for remote access, so that many employees can spend the next month working from home or a nearby caf├⌐, ensuring that everyone is working when they normally would.
Next on the fear list for London businesses is the lack of meetings that will take place as a result of restricted travel into or around the capital.
ΓÇ£Nearly half of SMEs questioned expect their businesses to be hit by having to put off meetings with customers, colleagues or partners,ΓÇ¥ said EMEA Marketing Director of Citrix, Andrew Millard, in January 2012.
ΓÇ£Yet such risks can easily be avoided,ΓÇ¥ Millard points out. ΓÇ£With the adoption of affordable high-definition conferencing tools, you can enable virtual meetings to replicate almost every aspect of a face-to-face meeting.ΓÇ¥
Along with the well-justified fears that blood transfusions are at risk during the Olympics as the delivery of blood could be seriously hampered in gridlock traffic, many businesses fear the delivery and supply of their own goods.
CEO of the FTA, Theo de Pencier, reflected business fears in an interview with the BBC: ΓÇ£If businesses – whether they be retailers or transport operators or the pub on the corner – have to jump through so many hoops and change their normal ways of operating to such an extent that it adds significant extra cost then that will be very sad.ΓÇ¥
Although, however troublesome they may be, there are hoops to be jumped to prevent a serious threat to daily operations.
We could all take a leaf out of the National Blood and Transplant book in adapting our own delivery practices this summer: ΓÇ£(Changes) include moving routine deliveries to night time hours and working with hospitals to try and reduce the demand for deliveries,ΓÇ¥ a spokesperson told the BBC this year.
How are you avoiding changes to business during the Olympics this year? Do you see the Games as good or bad for business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.