Gatwick Diamond companies ahead of the game for London 2012

A recent survey commissioned by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative to identify attitudes towards London 2012, has found that companies in the region are well prepared and upbeat about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The survey has found that companies in the Gatwick Diamond (which includes the area from Brighton to Croydon and Dorking to Lingfield) feel well informed about the summer Olympics, with a resounding 83% of business leaders surveyed saying they have received enough information to make plans. 60% of respondents have assessed the operational impact the Games will have on their businesses and more than one third have already made contingency plans.

The primary areas of concern relate to travel and transport arrangements as thousands of athletes, spectators and fans head into and out of London. The absence of staff was also raised as a potential issue, but the old adage ‘fail to plan and plan to fail’ appears to have been taken seriously by HR professionals in the Gatwick Diamond.

The survey found that almost half of businesses are developing specific 2012 HR policies to avoid confusion and pro-actively manage absences, with some companies planning to ask employees to work from home more than usual during the games, or travel outside peak hours to avoid potential delays. 26% of firms also plan to increase their usage of video-conferencing during the period.

It might also be good news for local TV installation firms, as more than half of those companies surveyed plan to install televisions in the workplace during the Games. More than a third of companies also plan to run events and initiatives to keep their staff motivated, but it seems as though customers may miss out on the fun, as only 15% of companies are planning corporate hospitality for clients during the Games.

29% of respondents state they have already benefited from the Games, 17% of whom have secured 2012 related contracts and 8% have seen an increase in business from 2012 sponsors. Overall, a quarter of respondents expect to benefit from the Games. Of these, 43% expect to win contracts or additional business directly linked to the Games and more than 50% expect to benefit from increased tourism traffic.

It was also positive news for the region in that nearly 65% of the businesses completing the survey anticipate expansion during the next six months and 43% expect staffing levels to increase. Only 7% of companies surveyed anticipate contraction and a reduction in workforce numbers.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said: “I am delighted that companies in the region feel positive about London 2012 and that they are displaying a good level of business confidence overall. Planning for London 2012 is important as there is the potential for disruption to normal working practices as well as opportunities to benefit from the Games”.

Companies wishing to find out more about the Gatwick Diamond, should contact Rosemary French at rosemary.french@gatwickdiamond.co.uk.