This discussion article about Remote & Home Working has been written by Declan McWilliams of Century IT Services. Declan is an Apprentice IT Support Technician at Century IT Services who also is studying with Southampton City College in order to gain his BTEC qualification in I.T
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Should people work from home during the Olympics?
With The 2012 Olympics upon us, things are set to look busy. Very busy.
Many are looking forward to seeing the games and all the buzz and excitement it has brought and the Olympic torch running through many different towns has sparked businesses in those areas to take advantage of the huge influx of people. Shops stayed open longer, boasting huge sales and using the Olympics as advertising just to gain those extra few customers.
The Olympics however is no doubt an enormous event. Crowds of people are to be expected everywhere you turn near the games, public transport may become almost unbearable and if you have ever travelled to or visited London before, you may know that the city is busy no matter what hour of the day, even without the presence of an event as big as this.
The Olympic Stadium is designed to seat around 80,000 people however there are 928,000 tickets printed for the Olympic Games, putting into perspective just quite how busy The Games is going to make London during this time. This has however brought concern to not only to workers, but also to employers and business owners, in particular those that commute to London and those that run businesses in London. How are workers to travel in and out of London during this extremely busy event? As already mentioned, public transport methods are going to be crammed full of people even more so than usual and the roads to London will no doubt work better as a car park than a functioning road!
So the question at hand here is, should workers be allowed to work from home over the Olympic Games if it is at all possible for them to?
There are of course many ways of looking at this and some will be in favour of the idea, but many may also be against it. Some employees may take advantage of the situation and use the excuse of working from home as an opportunity to slack off, and in turn, not get anywhere near as much work done. However others may realise that travel will be hard and many will most likely be late starting because of this, this of course meaning that work could end up behind schedule.
Is Remote or Home Working A Skiver’s Paradise?
An article from the Daily Mail Website stated Boris Johnson’s view on the matter (found here: Daily Mail Article). He has said that it will be a “skiver’s paradise” and has shown a general dislike for the plans that the government had originally had with regards to home working.
On the flip side of this however, should people have to endure the gridlocked journey to get into work, then many may try to stream the Olympic games over the internet onto their work computer, using up a lot of the companies bandwidth and in turn, slowing down other employees work progress.
Something else that will need to be taken into account if an employee is to work from home is whether said employee’s home environment is suitable for use as a workplace. The working area in the home needs to be free from distracting or unprofessional noise (such as a loud television, screaming child or similar noises) as well as the employee having all of the resources and access to things they would normally have access to in the workplace. This could include a linked in phone system, computers or laptops that connect to the company network or an email system that integrates seamlessly.
Before remote working even becomes a possibility, you need to consider policies concerning working from home and what is expected of the employee, as well as rules as to what they should not be doing. This could involve the data protection act and the consequences of breaching it.
At the end of the day, it is down to a decision of the company whether to allow its employees to work from home or to have them come into work like any other normal day. Taking into account the possible delays employees may face getting to work, the possible slowdown of the network should employees stream the Games live, whether employees homes are equipped with the right computer resources for home working and a number of other factors which could contribute to productivity loss and as a result, lack of profit.
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