January 23, 2013
Third of businesses see flexible work as main Olympic legacy
Flexible working facilities brought in for London 2012 are the most important legacy of the Olympic Games for a third of businesses, according to a new BT legacy survey. The survey of 600 large private and public sector organisations across the UK found 34% are continuing to enjoy the benefits from flexible working facilities (34%), with sales/revenue for 37% higher than before the Games. When asked what they have learnt about their organisation’s capabilities, 36% think that when they are pushed they can do a lot more business, 26% are more resilient and 25% feel they could increase their margins.
Over half (54%) used technology to increase responsiveness and resilience during London 2012, most commonly using VPNs to enable flexible working (54%), investing in more infrastructure to prepare (36%) and using/investing in WiFi (36%). Of those who tried to use technology to improve responsiveness and resilience, 87% said that it was successful. Nearly half (44%) reported that investment in continuity measures for London 2012 made them more resilient.
Over a quarter (28%) experienced a rise in traffic through online and social media channels, just under a quarter (24%) experienced a rise in foot fall at customer locations during London 2012, 21% experienced a rise in calls to contact centres, and 17% were impacted by increased levels of sales on e-commerce websites. Overall, in each case only around a third believe that their preparations were effective enough in each of these areas to help them to cope or capitalise as a result.
When asked what they have learnt about their organisation’s capabilities as a result of London 2012, 36% think that when they are pushed they can do a lot more business, 26% are more resilient than they thought and 25% feel they could increase their margins. Over three in five (62%) think preparation for London 2012 offered lessons in coping with disruption or uncertainty in the future.
The survey is also the first to compare how organisations across the UK fared against those in previous host nations Australia and China, plus the future aspirations in Brazil for Rio 2016.
Those in Brazil are predicting much higher increases in revenue during the Games (27%) than experienced anywhere else. The UK, at 14%, was the next highest. Just 22% of organisations in Australia experienced benefits to their bottom line, compared to 79% in China and a predicted 67% in Brazil.
Advice for organisations participating in Rio 2016 is unanimous from the UK, China and Australia: “prepare well in advance” was the top answer in all three countries. In the UK and Australia this was followed up by “make sure you have continuity plans in place” and by “plan for increased level of sales on your e-commerce website” and “improve technology security and resilience” from China.