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20 Per Cent Of Staff Could Skip Work To Watch Olympics

The Olympics is coming to town, it probably hasn't escaped your attention, along with masses of incoming visitors, an overloaded 3G network, giant 14 metre high TV screens - and of course people skipping work to watch the 100 metres final.

The latest research from IT services provider SunGard indicates that businesses are going to face staffing problems during the Games, as some 21 per cent of those questioned said they intended to skive off work to watch an event or three.

Even the prospect of getting caught doing so doesn't put many folks off, and bosses admit that a third of skivers would likely go unpunished anyway.

Only 22 per cent of the employees surveyed believed that their company was ready for the disruption the Olympics will cause. Only one in ten staff members had received any communication about the possibility of flexible hours, or in-office coverage, to enable some Olympics viewing without having to bunk off.

Keith Tilley, UK&I MD and executive VP for Europe, SunGard, observed: "Now is the time for UK companies to act. Keeping workers content is the number one priority to encourage productivity and ensure business continues as usual. It's a hugely exciting time, and there's no reason employees have to abandon ship to enjoy it."

"Simple actions such as installing communal TVs, and allowing employees time to view high profile events will help ensure businesses remain productive without damaging office morale and may even boost it. Today's technologies mean companies have more resources at their disposal than ever before to keep things going, so there's no need for staff or the business to miss out."

SunGard has prepared a ten step guide to help businesses prepare for the Olympics, which you can have a butcher's at here. Although now we're in May, companies should be on step five currently - so best get your skates on.