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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: 60% of workers plan to watch Olympics – with or without consent


More than half of employers plan to enable their staff to work more flexibly during the Olympics – which is just as well as nearly three out of five employees intend to watch Games, with or without consent.

According to the initial findings of a joint survey undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and recruitment consultancy Hays, nearly three out of 10 organisations will try to accommodate homeworking requests.
A further 13% will actively encourage staff to work from home themselves, while another 17% intend to broaden out flexible working options. Almost a third of employers will make TVs available in the workplace, however, while 11% will allow staff to view events online on their work computer.
But some 35% of public sector employers said that they planned to restrict leave during the Games in a bid to try and cope with the situation, the ‘Resourcing and Talent Planning’ survey revealed.
Whatever approach was taken, Rebecca Clake, a research adviser at the CIPD, pointed out that it was vital to communicate company policies clearly to personnel.
“Just as importantly, employers should remind staff of the organisation’s policy on absence and misuse of alcohol, making clear that it is unacceptable to take time off sick, either to watch matches/events or to recover from the aftermath of long evenings in the pub in front of a big screen,” she warned.
Turning up for work so hung over that people were incapable of work should likewise not be tolerated. “Employers should make clear there are disciplinary consequences for taking unauthorised time off without good reason or not performing or misbehaving at work,” Clake said.
Despite these findings, a second survey undertaken by OnePoll among 1,000 UK office workers on behalf of telephone headset manufacturer, Jabra, showed that three out of five planned to watch the Olympics, with 5% admitting that they would be prepared to call in sick to view an event.
Just over one in 10 indicated that they had been selected to volunteer at the Games, with 20% having tickets to attend and some 17% planning to take annual leave as a result. A further 16.6% intended to watch the happenings on TV, 18% said they would do so on their work PC and a further 9% on their mobile phones.
Both the CIPD and Jabra have come up with guides respectively to help employers cope the situation.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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