Friday, December 01, 2006

Eddington Report & Stern Report

If you haven't come across Work Wise UK yet, expect to hear much more about them in the future. It claims broad backing from business and the unions, BT, the RAC Foundation and many other bighitters for its five-year campaign to encourage smarter working practices. Their response to the recent Eddington Report is that it has not taken into consideration arguably the most obvious solution to the transport/congestion problem, more homeworking (and by implication more garden offices/sheds).

According to Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK: “Changing work practices and encouraging smarter working, such as flexible working, mobile working, remote working and homeworking, will significantly reduce the need to travel. Working 9 to 5, five days a week, at a central location, coupled with the desire to travel many, many miles in order to attend meetings, are working practices which are actually largely unnecessary considering the technology available today. This rigid work structure, which is largely dictated by culture and nothing else, is wasteful in terms of time and resources, damaging in terms of the environmental impact, harmful in that it impacts upon stress levels and health. Smarter working is a win-win situation. Any costs will be outweighed by an increase in productivity, and the social benefits of an improved work-life balance for employees will be far-reaching."

Commenting on the Stern Report in his Future of Work blog, Peter Thomson, Director of the Future Work Forum at Henley Management College, makes a similar plea and his well-measured thoughts are worth reading in full at his site here.

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