Bringing about a workstyle revolution through smarter working practices

Organisations and employees across the UK, both public and private, are being invited to take part in the second annual Work Wise Week (May 16 to 22) to continue helping create a ‘smarter’ working Britain.

Staff and employers alike are being asked to consider a week-long trial of smarter working practices, such as home, flexible, mobile and remote working, and so understand for themselves the benefits and practicalities of this modern day approach to working.

“The age of working 9 to 5, five days a week, from a central location, is for many fast coming to an end,” said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK. “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 stress levels and the health of employees.”

Many smarter working practices are very simple to implement, and it is these that organisations are being encouraged to try during Work Wise Week:

· Allowing staff to come in either an hour later or an hour earlier, with a reciprocal hour shift at the end of the day. This would enable staff to avoid the busiest travel times, effectively staggering the rush hour and making the journey far more tolerable for everyone.

· Allowing staff to take a half hour lunch break each day, and then let them leave at 3.00pm on the last day.

· Allowing staff to work from home on Friday May 18, National Work from Home Day. Even a small reduction in the number of people travelling on the roads or by public transport on that day will have a significant effect on congestion and overcrowding.

· During Work Wise Week, ask staff to cancel all external face-to-face staff meetings, and instead hold them by conference call, either video or telephone. This would save time and resources, and reduce congestion and pollution.

· Where appropriate, allow staff to roster their own shifts during the week.