Hewitt Research Indicates One-Quarter of Canadian Employers Will Provide
On-the-Job Access to Vancouver Olympic Games

Commuting May Be Challenging for Organizations without Business Preparedness Plan

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - With only a few weeks to go before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, 25 per cent of Canadian employers say they want to help their staff enjoy the Games, even though some events will occur during business hours. Many plan to permit online or television viewing of the Games at work, according to a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company.

However, getting to the workplace may be difficult. Of the 123 organizations from across the country that responded to the survey, three-quarters have employees in Vancouver. Nevertheless, as of early January when the survey was conducted, only 54 per cent had created a business preparedness plan to address the challenges the influx of athletes, spectators and media will present for commuting employees.

Addressing Business Challenges

"It was very surprising that more employers hadn't taken the advice of groups including the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and established business preparedness or readiness plans," said Laura Williams, a consultant in Hewitt's Vancouver office. "These plans address ways to ensure 'business as usual' during the Games."

    Solutions employers are including in their plans to address expected
traffic issues are:

    -   Suggesting employees use vacation time during the Games;
    -   Changing work hours, so that the work day starts and ends earlier;
    -   Allowing flexible work hours;
    -   Implementing a reduced workweek or reduced workday;
    -   Encouraging employees to use public transportation, rather than drive
        to work;
    -   Facilitating car pooling for employees;
    -   Enabling employees to work from home.

Worksite Cheering Section

Despite the fact that the Games may present some workplace challenges, one-quarter of employers are not letting work get in the way of employees' enjoyment of the Games.

Employers cited the following measures as ones they are implementing most frequently to celebrate the Olympics at work with their employees:

    -   Providing a TV or authorizing online viewing so that employees can
        watch the Games at work during their breaks and/or after work hours
        and, in some cases, during regular work hours;
    -   Providing additional paid or unpaid time off to watch, attend or
        volunteer at the Games;
    -   Providing matching paid time off to volunteer, provided employees use
        vacation time as well;
    -   Buying tickets that are used to entertain customers or clients, as
        rewards for employees, or that employees can purchase for personal

"Excitement for the Games is building across the country, and especially in Vancouver," stated Williams. "Employers that have done some advance planning will be able to help their employees enjoy the Olympics with minimal impact on their business."

About Hewitt Associates

Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW) provides leading organizations around the world with expert human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions to help them anticipate and solve their most complex benefits, talent, and related financial challenges. Hewitt consults with companies to design and implement a wide range of human resources, retirement, investment management, health management, compensation, and talent management strategies. As a leading outsourcing provider, Hewitt administers health care, retirement, payroll, and other HR programs to millions of employees, their families, and retirees. With a history of exceptional client service since 1940, Hewitt has offices in 33 countries, including Canadian offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Regina, and employs approximately 23,000 associates who are helping make the world a better place to work. For more information, please visit www.hewitt.com/canada.


For further information: For further information: Marcia McDougall, Hewitt Associates, (416) 227-5713, marcia.mcdougall@hewitt.com

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890