From the TUC

Work from Home Day: Smart, green and family friendly

24 Sep 2010, by Guest in Environment, Public services, Working Life

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.

GUEST POST: Philip Flaxton is Chief Executive of Work Wise UK, a not-for-profit initiative, providing information for employers and employees in the UK on working smarter practices, aimed at helping make the UK one of the most progressive economies in the World. He oversees the direction, policy and growth of the organisation’s key initiatives, including Work Wise Week, Commute Smart Week and National Work from Home Day. With extensive experience in the publishing and IT industries, Philip also holds a number of non-executive directorships, including the boards of the Small Business Bureau and the digital signatures authentication body, t-Scheme. He also represents Work Wise UK on a number of strategy groups advising on the implementation of smarter working practices.

6 Responses to Work from Home Day: Smart, green and family friendly

  1. Why don’t more employees work from home? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Sep 24th 2010, 4:36 pm

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  4. Munka
    Sep 27th 2010, 4:50 pm

    I like working from home – it has its disadvantages though. You can enjoy the freedom it offers but getting out of your room is a bit of a problem. You save time by not having to commute work but you lose the social touch as well. I like many aspects of home working . the psychological one still worries me.

  5. jon lane
    Sep 29th 2010, 11:27 am

    I’d love to work from home, but i’m not sure I can trust myself with the responsibility! Sometimes having the boss cracking the whip is a good thing and makes us all work that little bit harder :)