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HR Survey: Telecommuting and Flexible Hours Solutions to Impacts of 2010 Winter Games

September 23, 2009

Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA) released its report on HR Approaches to the 2010 Winter Games today.

According to the report, which is based on a survey of 282 B.C. organizations, HR practitioners in the province are bracing for a challenging time during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Many are instituting new policies which allow people to work from home, in different locations or to flex their hours to avoid commuting challenges. HR will also be busy handling sudden requests for vacation, increased absenteeism and supporting managers to supervise remote staff. While few organizations expect recruitment and retention issues to emerge from the 2010 Games, HR professionals working in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors are bracing for a hot job market.

Survey Highlights:

•80% of organizations will be introducing or increasing their use of flexible hours, while a further 70% will be introducing or increasing their use of telecommuting to mitigate the transportation impacts of the 2010 Games.

•48% of organizations are neutral with regard to the impacts of the Games on revenue and productivity. 30% believe the impact will be negative or very negative while 22% believe it will be positive or very positive

•The main concern for HR is the challenge of commuting by both transit and vehicle. They also believe that school closures, the distraction of the events and increased absenteeism will impact their business.

•Staff churn is only an issue for the minority of organizations who expect to gain from the Games and these are predominantly in the hospitality, retail and tourism industries.

•The single biggest benefit being provided to employees during the Games is access to a television.

•Very few organizations (8%) are increasing the amount of paid time off.

•Most organizations (40%) only expect to be impacted for the two weeks of the main Games.

•Organizations within one kilometer of a venue expect to be impacted for six to ten weeks

•37% of organizations are or are thinking of introducing cross-training to increase their ability to cover and maintain their operations during the Games.

•The single biggest request for information is to find out what other organizations are doing so that policies are not overly generous or tight. HR practitioners do not want to put their organization at a disadvantage.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded at:

BC HRMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing professional people practices through professional development opportunities such as conference, workshops, symposiums, and mentorship and volunteer programs. The association provides leadership to more than 4,700 members and 3,000 affiliates that collectively represent CEOs, directors of HR, consultants, educators, students, HR generalists, and small-business owners. Established in 1942, BC HRMA is a founding member of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) and the exclusive grantor of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation in British Columbia.

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For more information, please contact
Ian J. Cook, CHRP
director, research and learning, BC HRMA

For more information contact:
Ian J Cook
Director, Research & Learning
Phone: 604.694.6938

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