Telco firms set the standard for remote working over Olympics

With the Paralympics in full swing, new research shows that despite the forecasts of doom, London’s telco firms kept productivity high during the Olympics, with 90 per cent of firms allowing staff to work remotely during the period. The research from technology consultancy Portal shows that in stark contrast, on average just one in two businesses (48 per cent) allowed their staff to work from home for some or all of the 16 days.

“At a time when the UK economy is struggling to shake off the recession, the productivity of London’s businesses is paramount and the Olympics could have been disastrous for businesses in the capital,” said Shamus Kelly, CEO of Portal. “However, companies in the telco sector in particular heeded LOCOG’s advice and were by far the most prepared to allow staff to work remotely. Thanks to their time spent preparing for the Games, there has been very little impact from the Olympics for them.”

The key reason telco firms were able to cope with the strains placed on the capital was planning. Three quarters (75 per cent) of firms in the sector revealed they had spent time planning, with a quarter (25 per cent) spending more than six months putting in place the plans needed to ensure it was ‘business as usual’.

For two thirds (67 per cent) of telco businessess, those plans involved upgrading software to allow people to work productively, while over half (53 per cent) updated hardware, allowing people to access email, video conferencing and critical business systems such as finance and HR software.

“Technology is critical to enabling staff to work remotely,” said Kelly. “The remote working capabilities that London’s telco companies implemented prior to the Games are a long-term investment that have not only allowed productivity to remain high throughout August, but are also an essential part of any business’s crisis management strategy.”

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