Olympics: The costs and benefits
With the 2012 Olympics now just around the corner, what are likely costs and benefits to employers and to the UK economy of the Olympic games? There's a wealth of data out there on what we might expect...
One in five employers expects absenteeism to increase during the Olympics and Paralympics.
This is according to latest XpertHR Benchmarking data on the workplace impact of the Olympics, based on responses from 185 organisations with a combined workforce of 495,000 employees.
Around half of organisations surveyed by XpertHR are making informal arrangements to deal with the impact of the Olympics (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required) on their workplace. A further one in five has a specific policy on sporting events in place.
Other key findings from the survey include the following (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required for each link):
- Among employers making special working time arrangements for employees to watch Olympics events taking place during working hours, the most common approach is to use flexible start and end times.
- More than two-thirds of respondents agree or strongly agree with the following proposition,
while one in five disagrees: "Providing facilities for our employees to
watch the Olympics or Paralympics is good for morale and for business."
Cost of living in Olympic city is falling (at least for expatriate workers)
So what of the costs of the 2012 Olympics?
- The previous London Olympics (held in 1948) are estimated to have cost around £760,000 in total.
- Prices have gone up just a tad over the intervening 64 years. "The cost of staging the Olympics will come in £476 million under its £9.3 billion budget," the Evening Standard reports.
commentators expect a sudden spike in the cost of many items once the
Olympics arrive. For example, "a pint of beer at the Olympics will cost
£7.23," according to the trade union Unite.
London now ranks as "only" the 25th most expensive city in the world
for expatriate workers, according to latest analysis from Mercer.
The survey ranks 214 cities worldwide on the comparative costs of a basket of 200+, items
including housing, transport, food and entertainment, over the year to March 2012. March 2012
exchange rates were also taken into account.
Tokyo was found to be the world's most expensive city for expatriate workers in 2012.
Mercer presents the following breakdown of the most expensive cities in the UK in 2012:
In the UK, London (25) is the most expensive city for expatriates, down seven places from last year. At 133, Birmingham is up 17 places, having overtaken Aberdeen (144) and Glasgow (161). Belfast (165) is the UK's least expensive city, up 13 places in the ranking since 2011.London was ranked as the 18th most expensive city in 2011. It is interesting to note that just five years ago - right before the onset of the credit crunch - Mercer placed London as the world's second most expensive city in 2007 (XpertHR subscription required), beaten only by Moscow.
So why has London dropped seven places on the 2012 list when compared with last year? Many other European cities have dropped down the rankings, says Mercer Principal Nathalie Constantin-Métral. She explains why:
Despite some marked price increases across the region in the first half of last year and widespread increases in VAT charges, most European cities dropped in the ranking. This is mainly due to the unstable economic situation across Europe, which has led to the depreciation of most local currencies against the US dollar. Countries badly hit by the Eurozone crisis, including Greece, Italy and Spain, have also experienced drops in rental accommodation prices.Could an 'Olympic bounce' lift the UK economy?
With the UK economy mired in double-dip recession, there are widespread concerns as to where any new growth might come from.
So how likely is it that the imminent 2012 Olympics might serve to boost growth in the UK economy in 2012?
And if so by how much? XpertHR rounds up data on the possible impact of the 2012 Olympics on the UK economy in the following post: Olympics to the rescue?
XpertHR resources for employers preparing for the 2012 Olympics
XpertHR provides a wide range of resources to help employers preparing
for the 2012 Olympics. These include the following:
- Sporting Events: An Employer's Guide
Complete the form to download a special XpertHR Professional model
policy to deal with sporting or other special events (such as the World
Cup football tournament or the Olympics). Also includes an overview of
law relating to the policy and links to further relevant resources from
- 2012 Olympics The XpertHR Benchmarking survey on employers' arrangements for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, based on responses from 185 organisations with a combined workforce of 495,000 employees (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required).
- Olympics: Employer guidance To help employers deal with any issues that may arise, we have gathered together information from XpertHR on the subject, along with links to external resources for employers.
- XpertHR economic commentary June 2012: The austerity trap This article places the above analysis of the potential economic impact of the 2012 Olympics in a broader economic context, including analysis of concerns that austerity measures could be hampering prospects for economic recovery.
HR data blog post round-up: June 2012
- The 30 Most Popular Passwords Stolen From LinkedIn The recent high-profile theft of the passwords of millions of LinkedIn users highlights the need for us all to make sure that the passwords we utilise in the workplace every day are as secure as possible. This infographic from Mashable on the most 'popular' passwords among those stolen from LinkedIn provides some useful insights. Who would have guessed, for example, that the use of obscenities in your passwords could prove embarrassing if they ever become public knowledge?
- People born today won't get state pension until age 77 A superb, but also rather sobering, infographic from consultants PwC. PwC says: "Someone born today is unlikely to receive their state pension until they reach 77 and their children will be working into their mid 80s. The Queen's Speech outlined plans that the state pension age will be linked to longevity, after increasing it to 67 by 2028. Our projections are based on the rate the state pension age has been accelerating and analysis of future life expectancies. Perhaps more soberingly still, it's also worth noting that (as I recently noted in a blog post entitled An inheritance of perpetual austerity) the IMF argues that official longevity forecasts "forecasts 'have consistently underestimated lifespans.' This gives rise to 'longevity risk' ('the risk that actual lifespans of individuals or of whole populations will exceed estimates'). This in turn means that Governments risk having underestimated the future costs associated with ageing populations. The IMF believes that 'longevity shocks' are likely as the true costs associated with increased longevity become clear."
- How to link benchmarking more closely to business performance "HR managers could gain more from benchmarking with other organisations if they moved from a "good enough" approach to one which focused on best practice." My colleague Noel O'Reilly provides a summary of fascinating analysis recently published to PersonnelToday.com.
- Why You Don't Want To Be Invisible Online
What's the difference between your "digital footprint" and your
"digital shadow"? This post from Keppie Careers explains these terms,
which relate to the online data around each and every one of us, and the
key role these data can play in job searches.
- The Social Media Salary Guide What can you expect to earn if you specialise in social media? This infographic from Mashable.com breaks down interquartile salary ranges for a number of social media specialist roles by US state.
- Unemployment post link.
- @FlipChartRick: If HR can't do data... In fewer than 140 characters (tweeted from a session at the fourth ConnectingHR unconference, leading UK HR blogger Rick perfectly describes why data skills need to be recognised as critical for HR in 2012. For another Twitter-length take on this topic, see this post: HR wisdom (4): Neil Morrison on what they don't teach you about HR.
- Rob Jones: The one with the paradox of metrics Rob Jones ConnectingHR unconference on what aptly describes as perennial topic of importance of metrics to HR. Rob ponders the key question "if what gets measured gets done, do people only really focus on what can be measured?" Rob hits on a key point here, noting that not all of HR's priorities necessarily lend themselves to measurement. Issues such as "culture, engagement, discretionary effort, leadership effectiveness, etc" arguably require a more "intuitive" approach to their measurement.
About XpertHR's HR data round-up
XpertHR's round-up of HR data for June 2012 is the latest instalment in an ongoing monthly series, highlighting latest HR data releases from XpertHR and other sources, alongside links to news stories and blog posts of direct or indirect relevance to issues around using HR data.
If there are any HR-related data measures you would like to see covered in future XpertHR data round-ups, or if there are any surveys or HR data blog posts that you would like to see highlighted, please do get in touch. You can submit comments via the box below, or contact me directly via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.
XpertHR data round-up archive
Catch up with all the posts in XpertHR's data round-up series!
- HR data round-up May 2012: The changing ratios of HR to employees
- HR data round-up April 2012: IT pay trends; private sector pay forecasts & more!
- The HR data tapes: HR lifers; CIPD qualifications; workforce analytics, & more!
- HR data round-up March 2012: Tough times for graduates
- HR data round-up February 2012: Are employers losing the battle to combat work-related stress?
- HR data round-up January 2012: What is the ideal employee to HR ratio in 2012?
- HR data round-up, December 2011: Christmas working and minimum office temperatures
- HR data round-up November 2011: Why did you get into HR?
- HR data round-up October 2011: National minimum wage; HR data visualisation; & using HR data effectively
- HR data round-up September 2011: Benchmarking absence; social media ROI; & latest HR data blog posts
- HR data round-up July 2011: HR careers, absence & turnover
- XpertHR data round-up, June 2011: Company cars, commuting, benchmarking & labour disputes
- XpertHR data round-up, May 2011: HR benchmarking data, absence & hand-drawn charts