Absenteeism during the Olympics and Flexible Working Solutions

Paul Clark, Director for the UK and Ireland, Plantronics says, “According to the latest research from Deloitte, 42 per cent of businesses across the UK expect to be faced with Usain Bolt-itis as Olympic fever sweeps the nation this summer.

In response to this potential ‘epidemic’, business are taking steps to lessen the impact absenteeism will have with over 50 per cent installing TV screens in their offices. Meanwhile, 25 per cent have said that they plan to review holiday policies during the period, while 33 per cent are considering offering flexi-time working during the 17 day event.

Many businesses have already equipped staff with technologies that support flexible working such as, unified communications, lap tops, mobile phones and headsets, enabling employees to work flexibly, and minimise the impact the Olympics might have on their business. It is good to see employers taking the initiative and deciding what preventative measures they can take now to reduce the impact of absenteeism on their business, rather than waiting until the last minute when it’s too late.

In the majority of cases where “sickies” are taken, a few hours leeway would usually avoid the “sickie” being taken in the first place. Without the flexibility, however, employees are prepared to sacrifice an entire working day to support their country during the Olympics, which in reality could only take a couple of hours.

At Plantronics we have established a smarter working office, flexible working practices as well as equipped 95 per cent of our staff with flexible working technology, which will greatly reduce the affect the Olympics will have on our business. However, there are still many who have not; and when considering the tough times that still lay ahead, especially with the threat of a double dip looming, their decision to not satisfy their employees desires to watch their country participate at the Olympics could impact the profitability of their company as well as its success in the future.”

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