Commuting during the 2012 Olympics

The long weekend is over and many of us are suffering with post Jubilee blues. But let’s not forget the London 2012 Olympics are just around the corner! However, the topic of conversation for many Londoners is how the transport network will cope and what effect it will have on businesses and commuters.

I’ve been commuting in London for around seven years and I can honestly say I’ve never found it ‘that’ bad. I’ve learnt to sleep with my head upright, refrain from giving eye contact, tuck my bag into my side without bashing into people, and ignore people’s strange habits, including: cutting nails, plucking eyebrows, snoring (with the occasional dribble), reading my newspaper over my shoulder, shouting at me to ‘MOVE DOWN’, and being ‘tutted’ at for racing to get the empty seat.

Transport for London (Tfl) assures us it has been working hard to keep delays to a minimum and that London is well suited to hosting the Games. I think it’s probably inevitable that we will all be having a little moan about the delays and the media will be looking for every negative story, but we shouldn’t forget how proud we are to host such a great event.

Working from home

It really doesn’t surprise me there has been a negative response about civil servants being encouraged to work from home during the Olympics. Yet just a year ago Transport Minister, Norman Baker, urged commuters and businesses in general in London to think differently about how they travel during the Olympic Games. Surely this option would help businesses to work more effectively if they can reduce the time getting from A to B?

We need to remember that just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you do less work. I find that on days I work from home I am far more productive and have fewer distractions. I don’t go out for lunch as everything is in the fridge and I don’t have to go to meetings, which also gives me more time to get things done.

It isn’t always the nicest way to work, because many of us genuinely enjoy the buzz of an office environment. But these days if you have a family and the facilities to work from home, then why should employees be made to feel less worthy than those who trudge in and are an hour late because of travel delays?

Tfl published this presentation to reassure us that all will be fine…

My tips on how to cope with travel during the Olympics:

  • try a different route to work
  • dust off your bike and helmet and cycle instead
  • stagger your journey times
  • work remotely
  • use video conferencing for meetings
  • go on a sabbatical!

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3 Comments

  1. Good points about working from home. Some employers think it amounts to taking a day off work, but i find i can concentrate more and get more work done. Will be interesting to see if productivity goes UP during the Olympics…

  2. Really interesting article – and very true about how productive home working can be. I hope to be able to work from home as much as possible during the Olympics and hopefully employers will realise how efficient it can be!

  3. am dreading this time as it’s going to be chaotic and claustrophobic with all these people. i will be avoiding london and hopefully getting away for some of it.

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