Ask the Expert – Square Circle: Alison Welsh



Are you ready for the Commonwealth Games?

Glasgow is open for business during the 11 days of the Commonwealth Games from 23rd July to 3rd August with around 1 million tickets sold and an influx of 6,500 athletes and offi cials. Is your business ready? And it’s not just business in Glasgow. The experience of London 2012 Olympics showed that employees enthusiastically followed their favourite sports on TV and at the venues. Have you considered how to be prepared? Have you thought about the impact on your customers and your employees?

Are you near a games venue? 

Will you be affected by Games traffic? – there is a Games Route Network with designated Live Zones where traffic restrictions and road closures will be in force. Although spectators are being encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport to reach venues, will your customers and employees be able to reach you? Let your customers know in advance if they will have problems physically reaching you at certain times. Traffic will increase in the morning before 9:00 and after 4:30 pm. Do you need to be more flexible on employee starting and finishing times during this period? What about customer and employee parking? Do you need to consider alternatives?

Are your employees going to the Games?

Ask employees to request time-off as soon as possible if they have tickets for events so that you can plan ahead. Most employees will use annual leave, but if you have a fl exi-hours system, you still want to know that you have adequate staffing cover at peak times.

asDo you have employees who are Games Volunteers?

Have you agreed that they take the time as annual leave, or unpaid leave? Volunteers will now know if they have been selected, so they should have advised you already. You should ask them.

Will you provide TV or radio coverage of the Games at work?

Many employers provided a TV in the canteen / staff areas during the London 2012 Olympics for employees, visitors and contractors. If you do this, you need to give clear guidance on time spent watching TV – apart from lunchtimes, any other time needs to be accounted for and made up and viewing should not disrupt workload, customer service or provide a distraction to others. Also check if it is legal to watch TV on your premises.

Use the opportunity to engage staff.

Hold Games-related activities; anything from a sports quiz to a football challenge. Or different work groups select an alternative Commonwealth country to support.

Look for business opportunities.

This is a major event which will showcase Glasgow as a tourist and business venue. Have you thought about what you can do to maximise your business at this time?