With the opening of the London Olympics just days away, employers are being reminded that flexible working arrangements and a fair approach to time off will make for a more productive workforce.
With a predicted 1m extra Games-related journeys into the capital this summer, workplace expert Acas says that for many thousands of workers the disruption will mean finding alternative routes into work or working from home or at a different location.
By acknowledging that, employers can minimise disruption, manage staff expectations and ensure that business runs smoothly.
Says Acas chief executive John Taylor:"Employers may want to take a more flexible approach to matters such as working hours and location during the Games. Simply making small but significant adjustments will mean a happier and more productive workforce this summer."
Employers should also expect more requests than usual for time off to attend the Games or watch them on TV. But, warns Acas, as some people will have no plans to take time off during the Games employers need to demonstrate that policies have been applied consistently and fairly.
Meanwhile, many workers in large stores will have limited choice over their working arrangements in the weeks ahead, with the relaxation of Sunday trading laws allowing extended hours on the eight Olympic Sundays. The Usdaw trade union opposed the changes, announced in May, saying that the vast majority of shopworkers were against longer Sunday opening and urging that any extra hours be staffed by volunteers.