Big increase in flexible working over Olympics
There has been a 50% increase in the number of people working flexibly and an increase of 30% in those who are working from home during the Olympics to avoid travel issues, according to research undertaken by O2 Pocket Hotspot.
It says this means that millions of workers will work from home for the first time this month.
Eight in ten employees say they will work flexibly at some points during the festivities, varying their hours to travel later or earlier than usual, with a similar proportion saying that they will work from home at some stage.
02 says that means that 4 million people will work from home at some stage over the Olympics and a similar number will work flexibly on specific days during that time – with around 1.5 million working from home on any given day. It is estimated that one in eight companies across London is encouraging or has arranged working from home or flexible working practices for its employees.
02 estimates that up to 2.4 million hours a day are being saved by those working from home and not using public transport during the Olympics. Workers estimate that their daily commute takes 49 minutes each way on average – equating to a huge saving in time and a burden taken off the transport network.
Gary Booker, GM Consumer at O2 says: “This week we’ve truly become a nation of mobile workers. For huge numbers of people, where they work doesn’t matter if they are productive – and employers have embraced that philosophy. The technology now means that people can be in touch with the office, each other and their clients whenever and wherever they’re located. That trend has really come into its own during the past couple of days and it will last for the next couple of weeks – as the traffic shifts from the transport network to the country’s mobile and broadband networks.”
The shift is a reflection of London’s new working culture, O2 found. Outside this summer’s festivities, six in ten workers (59%) spend at least some time working flexibly while over half (52%) work from home at least some of the time. The numbers suggest that of the 5 million people employed in the Capital, half have flexible practices built in to their contracts, says 02.