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Olympic Games 'helped to boost productivity'

by LLB Editor
24th Aug 12 9:45 am

The Olympic Games did not disrupt most companies, while around half say it helped to boost morale among their workforce, a study has found.

Staff were allowed to watch the Games in the office at two out of five companies, according to a survey of 1,000 managers, with some drawing the conclusion that it had boosted productivity.

Some firms looked at new ways of working such as workers being based at home or altering start and finish times, the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) said.

One in five managers said letting employees work remotely was a positive move and most bosses disagreed with the view that it would encourage workers to “skive”.

ILM chief executive Charles Elvin said: “After such an uplifting London Olympics, it was great to discover that many organisations also felt some benefits.

“It is encouraging to find that businesses took the opportunity to trial flexible working practices and those that did found it far from being ‘a skiver’s paradise’, their people were productive and motivated.

“We hope that organisations continue to offer more flexible working which, when properly managed, is a powerful motivator and helps to attract and retain talent.

“With the Paralympic Games starting in a few days, it’s another opportunity for businesses that didn’t trial flexible working during the Olympics to do so in the coming fortnight.”

A separate report by office services company Regus found many people who work remotely end up putting in longer hours.

There is a clear link between flexible working and productivity, the report said. However, one in four of the 2,500 adults questioned for the survey said there was still a company culture of having to be seen behind a desk.

Regus managing director Steve Purdy said: “Even without this summer’s events, London commuters – similar to other UK cities – are only too familiar with the stress, expense and long hours associated with relying on public transport infrastructure.

“Employers in the South East may find that the temporary changes they make this summer could lead them to reassess their attitude towards the fixed workplace in the future.”

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