Work from Home Day: Smart, green and family friendly
National Work from Home Day, the culmination of Work Wise Week 2010, is an opportunity to reflect on how the nature of work is radically changing. Amongst the biggest changes is the increasing number of the working population who can now work remotely or from home.
It’s becoming more widely accepted in business that besides enhancing work-life balance for workers (with the added health benefits), working from home can significantly improve productivity, helping organisations to reduce costs at the same time as improving efficiency. Adopting smarter working practices is a win-win situation. We no longer need to work nine to five, five days a week to be productive. Research has shown that workers can be far more productive when they work flexibly and work from home, on patterns that suit their home life better too.
Work Wise UK believes the widespread introduction of smarter working practices like the greater adoption of remote working is going to significantly reduce the need to travel to work, making a huge difference to the levels of carbon dioxide emissions from cars and other means of transport. Enabling more home working and introducing smarter working practices would especially reduce peak time congestion and overcrowding.
It wouldn’t take much here to see a real impact, even if staff worked only an average of one day every two weeks at home, this would result in 10% fewer people commuting and travelling. Think of the impact that would have on our roads, trains and buses.
The RAC Foundation, a supporting partner of Work Wise UK, calculates that 25 million people in the UK commute to and from a fixed place of work, of which 18 million people go by car. The influential Eddington Report predicted that if recent trends continue, by 2025, congestion will waste around £22 billion worth of time in England alone.
The age of working 9 to 5, five days a week, from a central location, is for many, fast coming to an end. This rigid work structure, which is largely dictated by culture and nothing else, is wasteful in terms of time and resources, damaging to the environment, and harmful in that it impacts upon workers’ stress levels and their health.
So, as I work from home today, I’m calling upon the UK ‘s employers to embrace new smarter working practices for their staff by supporting National Work from Home Day.