Working from home during Olympics 'skivers' paradise'
Filed under: Career
Yesterday the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, attacked plans to let many London commuters work remotely during the Games, claiming home-working can be a 'skivers' paradise'.
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"We all know that [home working] is basically sitting wondering whether to go down to the fridge to hack off that bit of cheese before checking your emails again," Johnson said, quoted in the Mail. "I don't want to see too many of us doing that."
But Johnson's comments go against the Government's own view - it wants large numbers of civil servants to stay put at home. Johnson's comments also go against the cheery official line put out by Transport for London yesterday where Johnson's tone is very different.
It's vital, he said, in the TfL press release, "that businesses and Londoners don't adopt a 'wait and see' approach and play their part in putting on a fantastic Olympics. So don't get caught out – check how your journeys will be affected and plan ahead at GetAheadoftheGames.com."
Not going for GoldJohnson's off-hand remarks also send a message of distrust, some will argue, as well as making him look out of touch; many office-based workers work effectively from home thanks to modern IT software and fewer distractions, in many cases.
According to data from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 96% of all employers provide flexible working arrangement to at least some employees, with seven out of ten employers claiming flexible working supports employee retention, motivation and engagement.
"From the employee perspective," the CIPD's Head of Public Policy, Ben Willmott says, "flexible working is linked to higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing." A recent CIPD study found that employees satisfied with their work-life balance were, "more likely to be engaged and less likely to say they are under excessive pressure."
Avoid ORNMeanwhile TfL is advising motorists to avoid Central London, the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and all Games venues from mid-July when overseas visitors are expected to arrive in large numbers. London motorists will have to put with around 80,000 athletes, sponsors, bureaucrats and media taking over specially designated lanes, some in chauffeur-driven vehicles.
TfL commissioner Peter Hendy has also suggested that London commuters who do make into work could delay their journey home to avoid traffic disruption. Go to the pub and travel later, he advised earlier this year.