Flexible working: Not just for London 2012

WorkSnug is based here in London, though our users are spread all over the world. We’re also pretty agile – we’re a small team of flexible workers, splitting our work days (and sometimes nights!) between the office, our homes and third-places, like laptop-friendly coffee shops.

That’s why, when it snowed here in London last year, on what became ‘Snow Day’ for stranded employees and ‘Snowmageddon’ for employers (and slow-news day journalists), we weren’t massively affected. But we did notice the meltdown in the city around us (excuse the pun!): buses and underground trains didn’t run, commuters were stuck at home, employers freaked out.

Now London’s workforce is facing an even bigger challenge: the 2012 Olympic Games.

In training

Some businesses are preparing for a meltdown on the scale of 100 ‘Snow Days’. Others are taking a ‘wait and see approach’, thinking the expected disruption will be less like Snow Day and more like the Millennium Bug.

The authorities propose a solution that is two fold: 1) that London’s transport network has to increase its capacity, and 2) that commuters have to decrease their usage – by 30% to avoid severe disruptions.

Flexible working: Going for gold

Is this interesting to our readers outside of London? Well, yes. Studies suggest that problems with London’s transport network aren’t just to do with the Olympics. The Games are an inflection point of a much larger issue, and an opportunity for businesses to consider the broader challenges of work in the 21st century.

White paper: 2012 Olympic Games Roundtable

This white paper (1.4 MB) by workplace consultants AOS Studley is the result of a roundtable discussion with senior HR professionals in London. It presents conclusions drawn from research and resources that suggest that flexible working is the solution to London’s 2012 woes, but also to the challenges of modern work elsewhere.

It also does a good job of clearing up some confusion around flexible working as a term and as a workstyle, and shares case studies of its benefits and successes.

The white paper also makes an interesting point about one of flexible working’s biggest challenges – and it’s one we talked about with Cisco’s Bas Boorsma on our podcast: and that’s the shift in culture and understanding required to make flexible working a success.


Download AOS Studley’s white paper on the challenges of the 2012 Olympic Games and flexible working in general here here (1.4 MB), and listen to our podcast on the evolution of work here.

Photo credit: paulcoxphotography

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