During the US Atlanta Olympics in 1996, commuter traffic fell by 50% – with remote working accounting for about one-third of the reduction – as companies and individuals avoided the added congestion caused by the games.
Sixty per cent of these remote workers felt more productive, and 79% found it more satisfying than being in the workplace.
For two weeks this month, around 30,000 people will travel to south-west London for the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament.
Nigel Dunn, vice-president of Genesys Conferencing, a global multimedia conferencing service company, believes that UK companies should take a leaf out of Atlanta’s book to avoid problems in the workplace.
“Developments in networks, telecoms and business software have all made remote working more plausible for almost every industry,” he says.
“Technologies such as multimedia conferencing enable staff to remain equally productive and communicative whether or not they are physically in the office.”
Dunn’s survival guide for Wimbledon includes putting contingency plans and flexible working options in place now to avoid an increase in unexplained absence.
He also recommends getting the whole organisation involved in the tournament, and perhaps even streaming the biggest games live over the intranet.