Businesses are unprepared for Olympic disruption

Businesses expect Olympic levels of chaos but have no plans to ensure gold medal performance

Businesses are unprepared for Olympic disruption

With less than two months to go (43 days in fact) a Citrix survey reveals almost half (41%) of London SMEs expect disruption, but only 21% have a business continuity plan in place, and more than a third expect productivity to drop because of the disruption.

The Citrix survey of businesses with fewer than 250 employees revealed that less than a quarter of businesses have put in place a business continuity plan for the Olympics, and even fewer (10%) are adopting new working practices to minimise potential interruptions. Only 58% of small firms are prepared to cope with the expected disruption.

Of those businesses expecting some disruption, an overwhelming 87% believe productivity will suffer, with problems expected in several areas:

  • 64% believe that some staff will be late into work, and 27% are concerned that they won't get in at all
  • 47% expect to have to cancel or postpone meetings and 40% anticipate that suppliers and other business contacts may be unavailable
  • More than one third (37%) trust their staff to make up any time lost.
  • 34% expect productivity to drop, as staff use the disruption as an excuse to avoid getting work done or are distracted by high-profile events during office hours

Widespread disruption, little benefit

While larger businesses are nervous about the potential impact of the Olympics, with more than two-thirds (67%) expressing concern, small businesses and sole traders expect their businesses to be least affected.

Only 17% expect their businesses to gain from the Games - Citrix survey

Few believe the Olympics offers them any compensating benefits, as only 17% expect their businesses to gain from the Games. Two-thirds of SMEs (64%) do not expect their business to be affected, while 16% believe it will damage them commercially.

"Nearly half of the SMEs questioned expect their businesses to be hit by having to put off meetings with customers, colleagues or partners," states Andrew Millard, senior director EMEA marketing, for the Online Service Division at Citrix. "Yet such risks can easily be avoided, with the adoption of affordable high-definition conferencing tools that enable virtual meetings to replicate almost every aspect of a face-to-face meeting."