How are the Olympics going to make life easier for working mums?

Did you see the news that 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 the research, millions of workers will work from home for the first time this month.

Apparently, 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.  Four 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.

As one of the researchers 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.

I have just one question.

If Londoners can do this to ensure business runs smoothly during the Olympics, why can’t we all do it to ensure all workers can balance their family responsibilities all of the time?

Here’s hoping business and government’s realise that flexible work is indeed possible and that productivity gets even better when you allow people to work in a way that helps them meet their other responsibilities! There’s no need for this trend to last just the ‘couple of weeks’ that the researchers have predicted.

Kirsten

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2 responses to “How are the Olympics going to make life easier for working mums?

  1. I have worked flexibly for years but I am lucky as I have skills that are wanted but don’t require me to be in one location and all I really need is a computer, internet connection and phone. So flexibility and teleworking remain the provence of the skilled professional or piecemeal worker. Since becoming a manager of a company that has a high proportion of parents we have informal rather than formal flexibility arrangements. We are considerate of all employees caring needs and we have a culture and management that supports that. However to have a formal teleworking policy we would need to have OHS assessments and standards in people’s home – that makes it harder on employers.

  2. I’ve been able to work flexibly from home for many years on my terms. But that is because of skills that are in demand, only need a computer and phone and don’t need to be in any particular location most of the time. So teleworking and flexibility is still really the provence of the skilled professional with the ability to ‘consult’. Since becoming a manager of a company with a large number of parents we have a culture, management and owners who are considerate of the needs and so our flexibility is offer in more informal ways – adjusting to peoples circumstances as they arise. The problem of implementing a more formal teleworking policy is that we would need to do OHS assessments in everyone’s homes etc

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