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Civil servants to work from home during Games

Businesses criticise move to allow civil servants to spend seven weeks out of the office

The Olympics is widely expected to have a significant impact on the ability of the capital’s commuters to get into the office due to the millions of extra journeys expected across the city’s transport system.

And with unprecedented numbers expected to fill London’s trains, tubes, buses and roads between the end of July and early September, both private businesses and public organisations have been looking for ways to deal with the disruption in a way that does not sacrifice productivity.

In the latest development, civil servants have reportedly been told that they can work from home for seven weeks during the Games as a means to avoid the crowds on the transport network, but some businesses have criticised the move as they do not feel that the government’s workers will maintain their standard output levels.

A spokesman for the Business Services Association said: "Seven weeks is a long time to have the heart of government working intermittently."

Yet despite fears that allowing employees to carry out their duties from home will see less work completed, the government moved to quash criticism from the private sector and ally fears that productivity would drop as a result.

"In every case, staff will be expected to work just as hard and for the same amount of hours as if they were in the office," said the statement.

As companies in the private and public sectors look to prepare themselves for what appears to be the inevitable upheaval of the Games, remote working practices that facilitate home workers have very much been on the agenda.

Whether it’s implementing a digital mailroom, using a document scanning service to hold and share files in the system or building a virtual network that can be accessed via the internet, there are a wide range of tools that can be used to support staff that may be forced to work from home during the Olympics.