Could the Olympics cost unprepared firms billions?

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The disruption of the Games has the potential to have a significant impact on the productivity of businesses

After years of preparation, endless disputes over budgets and consistent questions about funding, the run up to the Olympics is now well underway.

Yet while the British Olympic Association will be ensuring that everything down to the last set of blocks are ready for the events, it appears some British businesses have failed to properly prepare themselves for the havoc that the Games will wreak on the capital’s transport systems.

According to The Independent, a survey carried out by MWB Business Exchange found that 30 per cent of companies have not got any plans in place to deal with the upheaval that will be experienced in London over the course of the Olympics.

"Businesses who have not thought about it are really going to be hit the hardest," Kathryn Hurt, MWB’s head of Olympics, told the newspaper.

"During snowday in February 2009, £1 billion was lost from the economy. Now times that by the 17 days of the Olympics, and you can see the potential hit UK plc could take."

With the report finding that only 11 per cent of firms said that they will be allowing their employees to work from home during the event, it seems that far more needs to be done if the threat to business continuity is to be addressed effectively.

"Businesses are slowly waking up to the fact that they need to prepare. But it could be too little, too late," Ms Hurt added.

In terms of facilitating remote workers who may struggle to get into the office due to the swarms of visitors who will be making their way to the Olympic Park, companies could take all manner of measures.

Ranging from scanning documents to make files accessible via an online network to setting up a digital mailroom for staff outside of the workplace to use, businesses have many options available that could help prevent them being adversely affected by the Games.

And with the start of the event fast approaching, companies may look to draw up a plan to deal with disruption before it is too late.

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