Is your Organization Olympics Ready?

This is a guest post from Shawn Hall, Senior Communcations Manager of TELUS

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games represents an intense competition for athletes around the world, but the international event will create another set of hurdles for the city as it works to overcome the sudden surge of traffic.

The Vancouver Olympic Committee’s ambitious transportation plan to boost public transit and reduce car traffic by 30 per cent will certainly ease traffic woes during the Games, but not eliminate them. Local business commuters will likely be the hardest hit with bumper-to-bumper traffic expected in the downtown core.

For those commuting to and from work during this time, traffic congestion will take a toll on productivity, drive up transportation costs and negatively impact employee morale. Enabling staff to work closer to home during the Games through a flexible work program is one way Vancouver-based businesses can help reduce commuter traffic, support business as usual and help ensure this once-in-a-lifetime event is a success.

With the Olympics around the corner, here are five things businesses can do now in order to support employees throughout the Games with a flexible work program:

  1. Mobilize employees: Provide employees with mobile technologies, like laptops, smartphones and mobile Internet keys to enable them to work securely anywhere, any time. For many employees, that will mean working at home, but it could also mean the flexibility to work at a closer office. Thinking beyond the Olympics, this capability will allow employees to work more effectively when travelling for business or during a crisis like a flu pandemic.
  2. Ensure the IT network is secure: Give employees secure remote access capabilities with a Mobile VPN, which takes just weeks to set up.
  3. Equip employees with collaborative solutions: When collaborating remotely on large files, encourage staff to use a shared online workspace, like SharePoint, to avoid taxing e-mail storage space, while reducing the burden on the network.
  4. Move to a results-based management style: Set clear objectives and measure employee performance by objectives, rather than time spent in the office.
  5. Learn from the experience:  As employees demonstrate that their productivity is not negatively impacted by being away from the office, consider how you might make flexible work arrangements part of the overall business strategy.

Flexible work programs offer organizations a boost in productivity, faster decision making and improved employee morale. When Canada welcomes the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, local businesses can take the opportunity to re-evaluate their traditional working models and pilot a flexible work program to catch up to the changing nature of work that increasingly requires more mobility and flexibility for staff.