Ready, set, panic

With the Oympics less than 80 days away, GrowthBusiness finds out if UK businesses are ready for the upheaval that the Games are likely to bring.

Technology in Business

Come 28 July, the Olympic cycle road race will be wheeling its way past the front doors of talent measurement company SHL.

While the Games’ organiser LOCOG has not revealed exact road closures away from the race, Stephen Read, managing director at SHL, says that the business has already taken steps to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.

In the lead up to the Games, department heads of the company have, without warning, phoned their teams at 7am and asked them to work from home. It’s a dry run of the company’s strategy to deal with disruption, leaving SHL well set to maintain its levels of production throughout the event.


Staff getting to work is not going to be a problem for data centre services business Interxion, as the company has installed Japanese-style sleeping pods on site so that workers don’t have to worry about braving the commute.

Located on Brick Lane in the heart of East London, the company has bought five units so that customers’ applications will not be hindered during the Games if there is an outage and an engineer is needed rapidly.

Alex Mason, head of UK operations for Interxion in London says the sleeping pods are about reducing the stress on workers by enabling them to kip at work overnight and beat the crowds. With the cost of renting hotel rooms in the nearby area ‘astronomical’, Mason says that the pods provide a good safety net.

While the operations of SHL and Interxion are firmly kept within the four walls of their business, for moving and storage company Bishop’s Move, the Games present a different challenge.

The company typically moves 20 to 25 clients a day and would normally send its vehicles out early in the morning. However, during the Games it plans to send them to their starting locations last thing at night to avoid the anticipated morning rush.

If parking restrictions make this impossible, Neil Bishop, business development director at the company, says that the vehicles will park further out and extra manpower will be drafted in from other UK locations to carry goods longer distances – a contingency plan within a contingency plan.

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