Flexible working practices to 'remain popular beyond Olympics', says ILM

As previously reported by the providers of virtual office space in London, Messagemail (, the 2012 Olympic Games taking place in the city was expected to cause a great deal of disruption to local transport, with many civil servants being told to work from home accordingly. What may not have been so confidently predicted by many people, however, is the great proportion of firms that intend to continue with such flexible working practices, long after the conclusion of the Games.

One certain doubter was the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who prior to the Games, described staff remote working arrangements as "a skiver's paradise". However, far from experiencing adverse effects as a result of the greater shift to flexible working during the Games, according to a post-Games survey of over 1,000 managers published by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), many employers are set to continue with such practices for some time to come.

Although, in the event, many organisations did not resort to different ways of working during the Games, almost two in ten (18%) did, with many of them either altering start and finish times or allowing their employees to work from home. Of those organisations, 43% said that they were likely to continue with these working practices after the Olympics. Some 76% of managers, meanwhile, vehemently disagreed with the Mayor's statement, with 18% saying that a more positive impression of home working had actually been created.

The ILM poll is only the latest indication of the increasing prominence of flexible working within businesses throughout London and the wider UK, with many managers realising just how much time, effort and money can be saved by embracing ways of working that depart from the traditional rigid '9 to 5'. The Internet, cloud computing, widespread domestic laptop and tablet ownership and the increasingly common home office are all helping firms to remain competitive in the world of 21st century business.

It is as part of this revolution that many companies have also seen the contribution that a phone answering service or even virtual office meeting rooms can make to their business goals. The former allows for the company's calls to be handled professionally and efficiently, while the latter provides a prestigious address at which meetings and interviews can be held. Both can be invaluable in projecting the best possible image of the company, which can help to create more business.

For more information on how a virtual office or switchboard support in London from Messagemail could be the perfect latest component of your own company's flexible working strategy, simply visit the Messagemail website now at