According to the Family and Parenting Institute, London 2012 could be a “watershed moment” in the adoption of flexible working arrangements for the Games and could lead to a permanent change in working practices in the UK.
Many London-based firms especially will adopt flexible working hours and working from home during the Olympics and Paralympics and this appears t have the backing of the Government, particularly with the recently announced Children and Families Bill, which should make it easier for employers to adopt flexible working practices.
Dr Katherine Rake, chief executive at the institute, said: “Flexible working is a key aspect of ensuring London and other UK cities can host events successfully and maintain business-as-usual through the Olympics period.
“But beyond this, flexible working during the Olympics could usher in a revolution in terms of how we can balance our work and our family lives. Britons are crying out for greater freedom from long commutes, deskbound jobs and inflexible hours, which undermine family relationships. Flexible working is the key that could change family life forever.”
Dr Rake added: “Evidence shows employees who work flexibly are more productive, loyal and motivated. So the results wouldn’t just be happier families and improved child wellbeing. It would be a more powerful UK economy. This could be the legacy of the Games.”
Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) shows that over 90 per cent of employers already offer flexible working to at least some employees, as they find that it helps staff retentions, motivation and engagement.
However, a recent poll of employers by recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark found that 60 per cent of employers still don’t have an Olympic leave policy in place.