Join the City Stress Test this May and get your Olympic plans in shape

Stuart Fraser
THIS Sunday’s Virgin London Marathon will signal the push off the starting block for many of us in the City in the sprint towards the 2012 Olympics.

With little over one hundred days to go until the Games begin, many in the City will already find themselves wondering how their businesses are going to cope with the extra demands placed on our infrastructure over the summer.

Already, government-led initiatives such as Get Ahead of the Games have been helping employers to develop their strategies, but even with such measures in place, many would like to know how their contingency plans are going to work in practice.

Like any marathon, conducting business during the Olympics will require strength, endurance and perseverance – but good preparation and self-reflection will be equally important if we are to achieve good results.

Going for gold needn’t be a Herculean task however, and working together will take us a long way.

Over the coming weeks, businesses across London will be coming together for the very first time to execute the Capital’s largest coordinated test of IT, telecommunications and transport requirements.

Scheduled for 8-9 May, the Stress Test aims to simulate the working conditions anticipated during the Olympic period, when many businesses will implement alternative working arrangements such as flexible working hours in order to alleviate disruptions to their operations.

All businesses, large and small, are encouraged to participate, as are their employees, by implementing their Games Time alternative working strategies while conducting a simple and confidential online survey commissioned by Deloitte.

The survey will record where companies will locate their employees during the working day during the Games as well as the demands this will exert on IT, telecommunications and transport.

This is a unique opportunity for London businesses. In addition to providing companies with a chance to do a dry run in advance of the Games, all participants will receive free analysis from Deloitte, which will combine individual company data with that of London-wide organisations, providing vital statistics for optimising performance on the day.

We want London to be open for business, and the Stress Test organisers wish to make sure that London has the right information to hand in order to do so during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ensuring employees can still access their workplace and use telecommunications effectively will help this summer to provide a major boost to the economy.

Stuart Fraser is the policy chairman at the City of London Corporation.

Organisations that wish to participate on 8-9 May can do so by registering at