Thame, Oxon, UK: 1 May, 2012 - There are just 87 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics and that's not long if, like 23% of businesses in London and the surrounding regions, you are not ready for the potential travel disruption that your employees will face as they try to get to work alongside the estimated 11 million people who will be travelling to and from the Olympic events.
Transport for London (TfL) estimates that during the busiest days of the Games, a staggering three million extra journeys will take place on London's Public Transport, a network which already creaks from the pressure of passengers during 'normal' commuter peak travel times.
"I am convinced, and this is backed up by recent research by YouGov, that there are a considerable number of business owners and managers who have not taken on board just how seriously the operation of their business could be affected by their staff experiencing serious difficulties in getting to work," said Tim Duffy, Chairman of MeetingZone, an independent conferencing and collaboration service provider, which can help businesses to keep running during the Olympics by delivering audio conferencing and web conferencing solutions allowing staff to work remotely from home, just as if they were in the office.
Simple to use conferencing and collaboration technology enables users to quickly and easily run meetings, share applications and work collaboratively on documents in real-time without setting foot outside of their front door.
"How can a business operate effectively if a large proportion of its workforce is regularly stuck on the tube, in a traffic jam or in a queue at the airport from the 27 July to the 12 August? We must not forget that we may also face disruption during the Paralympics Games which run from 29 August to 9 September," continued Duffy.
It is inconceivable that congestion resulting in travel delays can be avoided across the capital's transport network as hundreds of thousands of additional people use the tube, trains and roads leading to Olympic venues, not only across London and the South East, but to events taking place in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Weymouth and Portland.
"I wonder how many businesses located close to venues and routes where events will take place i.e. road races, are aware that temporary road changes will be introduced along the Olympic Route Network (ORN) - a 109-mile network of roads connecting key venues, accommodation and transport hubs across London," explained Duffy. "Games Lanes will be introduced on about a third of the ORN and Paralympic Route Network (PRN), and when operational, will not be open to general traffic."
Traffic changes are likely to be introduced a couple of days before the Games begin and last until just after they end. However, some stretches of the ORN will be removed when they are no longer needed.
"If you haven't taken on board just how difficult it could be to keep your business running smoothly this summer because your staff are experiencing problems in getting to work, there is no need to panic," added Duffy. "By giving your employees access to cost effective, easy to use, integrated audio and web conferencing solutions, they can meet and share information with whoever they want, whenever they want just as if they were in the office, without having to leave home."
The results of a recent YouGov survey show that 79% of 120 senior managers expect that a proportion of their staff will be affected by travel disruptions during the Olympics. 57% said they have already implemented, or have plans to implement remote working capabilities for employees, 13% are still planning a strategy and rather frighteningly, 28% do not plan to implement a remote working strategy.
"Those senior business managers who have not yet taken action to avoid the potentially serious impact Olympic travel congestion could have on how their businesses operate, need to understand just how quickly and easily remote working solutions can be deployed," said Duffy.
"Dealing with travel issues during the Olympics provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to trial remote and flexible working technologies. I am sure that these trials will drive the take up of conferencing and collaboration as organisations, of all sizes experience the business benefits these solutions deliver. In today's economic climate every business manager is looking to cut operating costs, increase productivity and efficiency, retain its existing workforce and attract new talent, at the same time as keeping an eye on environmental issues. Conferencing and collaboration makes it possible for them to achieve this," concluded Duffy.
MeetingZone, an independent conferencing and collaboration service provider, delivers easy to use, cost effective, high performance, personalised integrated audio and web conferencing services to global organisations of all sizes, across all business sectors. MeetingZone’
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