Civil servants lead UK employees working flexibly during Olympics

During the London 2012 Olympics civil servants will be among the many employees across the UK who are encouraged to work flexibly or entirely from home during the Games, reports virtual office services provider Messagemail (

The Olympics will see around 5.3 million visitors flooding into London, with over 100 miles of roads designated as the Olympic route network. No matter how well organised the Games turn out to be, travel disruption in and around the Capital is unavoidable. Little wonder, then, that the civil service deemed working from home during the Olympics a sensible move for many of their employees. They are not alone, with private companies also encouraging flexible working and the use of virtual office services to minimise disruption to business. In fact, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that as many as 52% of all private companies polled had made specific changes to their employees’ working practices during the Games.

This is not simply an Olympics-related issue, but instead reveals an increasingly prevalent shift in thinking when it comes to working practices. There once was a time when working from home was disparagingly seen as a metaphor for, well, not working much at all. But as the world has become more virtual, so too has the way we work. Companies who understand the importance of harnessing the internet and see the wisdom of cloud computing are naturally going to be more open to the idea of using a virtual PA or virtual switchboard support, for instance. And with companies having to consider their carbon footprint, cutting back on flights and other modes of travel for employees in favour of online meetings can only be a good thing.

Flexible and virtual working practices are not just for those looking for a permanent of even long-term solution such as a virtual office space or ongoing access to a meeting room in London. They are also used as short-term solutions, as we will be seeing for this year’s Olympics. Find out how shifting your company’s thinking about working practices could pay dividends, even in the short-term, by discovering more about the services from Messagemail. You’ll find the website at