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How Do You Solve a Business Disruption Like The 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

July 26, 2019 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Every Olympic host city has to figure out how to keep its businesses operating while incorporating a staggering influx of visitors on its transportation and infrastructure. As Tokyo gears up for the 2020 games, it’s come up with a bold solution: everyone stay home!

More than eight million people commute into Tokyo every day, using a crowded train system that’s expected to get even more packed with hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. To take the pressure off, several Japanese companies have come up with a plan they’re calling “Telework Days.”

From July 22 to Sept. 6, 2020 – from the start of the Olympics to the end of the Paralympics – workers from Fujitsu, NEC, Toyota, and other companies with Tokyo offices (about 688,600 workers in total) will be encouraged to work from home. The government and the Olympic organizing committee are already promoting the campaign.

One of the companies, office equipment manufacturer Ricoh, is planning to close its Tokyo headquarters during the games and will establish satellite sites for its 2000 employees who need a physical location to meet clients or hold important meetings. The company is setting up a practice run this month.

Another company, Asahi Breweries, is rethinking its schedule – changing the shifts of 30% of its delivery drivers to avoid peak game times and moving imports of wine and other products to less busy periods.

Will this novel BCM strategy work? We’ll have to wait until next summer to find out!