With the Olympics just around the corner, many businesses are fearing the worst when it comes to disruption. While the games has created new business opportunities for many companies, it’s also likely to disrupt the day to day running of many more, with road closures, traffic and other logistical problems, particularly within the London area.
A survey of 1,000 managers of small businesses based in London and the South East found that 69% were worried about the affect of the Olympics on their businesses. However, in order to respond to this threat, the survey found that in fact many seemed reluctant to change their day to day operating procedures. A fifth of respondents said they would see what happened in the first week of the games before deciding on any changes to working practices, while 35% said they would not do anything differently.
However, some businesses are taking action. Obelisk Legal Support, a company based in the London area, has issued all 100 of its lawyers with wireless modems in order to let them work remotely from home. Fulham based My Family Care, which provides childcare for large organisations, has been managing client expectations of longer waiting times over the Olympic period especially as it has Olympic sponsors amongst its clients. Clearwater Safety Solutions, a Sussex based health and safety consultancy, is putting off making site visits within the London area for the duration of the games despite the fact this will affect its revenue. Even big companies are making changes, with BT investing more and upping capacity to cope with the extra demands on its telecoms network.
While the Olympics is no doubt going to put extra strain on many small companies, along with the whole of the London transport sector, these changes made by a huge variety of businesses could help to make it all a bit less stressful.