Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Olympics 'raised our productivity'

Allowing staff to watch the Olympics in the office has boosted productivity, a new survey of 1,000 managers has found
Allowing staff to watch the Olympics in the office has boosted productivity, a new survey of 1,000 managers has found

Most firms believe the Olympics did not disrupt their business, while half say they increased morale among their workforce, according to a new study.

Two out of five firms allowed staff to watch the Games in the office, saying it helped boost productivity, a survey of 1,000 managers showed.

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) said its poll also revealed that some firms tested new ways of working, such as being based at home or changing start and finishing times.

Most managers disagreed with the view that allowing staff to work remotely would encourage them to "skive", with one in five saying it was a positive move.

Charles Elvin, chief executive of ILM, 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."

Another report by office services firm Regus showed that many people who work "remotely" put in longer hours.

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

Steve Purdy, managing director of Regus, 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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