Some Canadian Workers Will Get to 'Go for the Gold' on Work Time

January 28, 2010 ( – A Hewitt Associates survey has found 25% of Canadian employers will provide on-the-job access to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

According to a press release, measures employers are implementing most frequently to help employees enjoy the events include:

  • 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; and
  • Buying tickets that are used to entertain customers or clients, as rewards for employees, or that employees can purchase for personal use.

The Race to Work

Hewitt noted that the Olympic Games may cause problems with employees getting to the workplace; of the 123 organizations surveyed, three-quarters have employees in Vancouver. However, it found only 54% have created a business preparedness plan to address the challenges.

Among those who do have plans to address expected traffic issues, solutions include:

  • 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; and
  • Enabling employees to work from home.

“Excitement for the Games is building across the country, and especially in Vancouver,” said Laura Williams, a consultant in Hewitt’s Vancouver office, in the press release. “Employers that have done some advance planning will be able to help their employees enjoy the Olympics with minimal impact on their business.”