Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Work Wise Week summit

It was the big Work Wise Summit today in London, kicking off a week of festivities encouraging people in the UK to work in their sheds and shedlike atmospheres rather than commute like lemmings. They fitted a lot in so just to give you a flavour of the action, a few quotes from the day:
* David Lennan, chairman of Work Wise UK, said: "Working 9 to 5, five days a week, from a central location, coupled with the desire to travel many many miles to attend meetings, are working practices which are largely unnecessary considering the technology available today."
* Sir Digby Jones, UK skills envoy and former director general of the CBI, said: “Just look at the impact the Industrial Revolution had on the world and the prosperity of this country when we innovated and embraced new technologies and working practices in the 19th century."
* Equalities Minister and my old college pal Ruth Kelly, making the keynote speech, said: "We are committed to ensuring that more people can make the most of their skills and contribute to our national prosperity, and will continue to take employers with us on this journey."
* TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ''The quality of working life is rapidly becoming an important issue for many working people. A growing number of employees want more flexibility about when and where they work."
* David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses need smarter working practices if they are to adapt to a labour market with vastly changed expectations and needs.”
* Ben Plowden, programme director of travel demand management, Transport for London, said: “In the next 15 years, the Capital’s population is expected to grow by 800,000 people, which will greatly increase the demand on the transport network, particularly during peak hours. As around 65 per cent of journeys made during those times are work related, it is really important that London's employers are able to take advantage the opportunities smarter working practices can offer both their organisations and their employees."

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