London businesses may turn to video conferencing during 2012 games

Monday, January 9 2012

UK transport minister Norman Baker has been encouraging businesses to take up video conferencing as a way to work remotely during the 2012 Olympic games. To defray disruptions from increased use of the city's transportation, Baker is asking businesses in London to plan work travel differently or to work remotely from home.

London-area residents collectively take 12 million trips on public transportation during an average work day. Three million extra trips will be made on the city's public transportation at the start of the 2012 Olympic games, event organizers predict.

Baker suggests that commuters who must travel for work plan transportation during off-peak hours or use different routes. Those who are able to work remotely might consider using alternative solutions like video conferencing. Businesses can also use this video technology as an opportunity to update the office. Using video conferencing equipment, businesses would be able to meet with employees working remotely and hold meetings with other offices, avoiding travel during this busy time.

"I am the first-ever transport minister to have official responsibility for alternatives to travel and the Olympics will be a key time to really embrace these ideas," Baker said. "It's time to oil the creaking bike, dig out the walking boots, work out how to use the video conferencing equipment, and fire up the laptop gathering dust at the back of the cupboard."