How can businesses make sure the Olympics only have a positive impact on their operations?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, chances are you won’t have failed to notice that the London 2012 Olympic Games are almost upon us – but what might this mean for businesses, and how can they prepare?
There are many types of business in our region that will see a very positive impact on their bottom line, thanks to the influx of visitors that this world-renowned sporting event will bring into the area – while training camp locations have been identified across the country, bringing the business benefits to an even greater geographical area.
Some of the most obvious businesses to benefit include hotels and other types of accommodation, restaurants and bars, taxi firms and other tourism-related operations, and it goes without saying that business owners should already be gearing up for increased demand in July – but there should be a knock on effect that could boost other types of business too.
Whether you expect your business to be directly impacted by the Olympics or not, you should talk to your staff ahead of the Games, and ask them to let you know as early as possible if they intend to take annual leave – with all the competition locations within just a few hours’ journey from our region, chances are a number will have tickets for specific events, while die-hard fans might want to book time off to watch the live coverage.
You could even use the events to bolster camaraderie within your workforce – perhaps you might arrange for a TV to be put into an area used for breaks (make clear your guidelines on when it can be watched, to ensure nobody takes advantage), or alternatively why not think about undertaking some kind of Olympics-themed team-building activity, tapping into the upbeat mood that will grip the country?
Depending on their commute, bear in mind that staff may be affected by the additional load on the transport system during the Games. Depending on individual circumstances, you might want to think about altering working times, encouraging home working or compressed weeks (e.g. five days hours condensed into four actual days) for the duration of the games, and employing conference calls or video/web conferencing rather than face-to-face meetings.
We all want the Olympics to provide the long-awaited boost to the UK’s economy that is expected, but it could be even better than that – hopefully this event will also raise consumer confidence, which can have a very positive impact on the wider economy in the longer term.