National Commute Smart Week count down starts

National Commute Smart Week will run from Sunday October 28 to Saturday November 3 2007. The week follows on from the success of Commute Smart Day last year (November 1) which was viewed as a huge success by all those involved, warranting an extension of the initiative this year to a week so that the full benefits of smart commuting can be experienced.

Workers in the UK already have the longest average daily commute in Europe: in many cases adding an entire working day each week.

Add to this the misery of traffic congestion and overcrowded public transport, and now the prospect of travelling to and from work in the dark for many months, it is no surprise that many succumb to depression and despondency.

Commute Smart Week, which starts on the day the clocks go back, will highlight the possibilities of avoiding this misery.

Employers that practice smarter working, such as flexible working times (including flexitime, condensed hours and nine day fortnights), staggered journeys and part home working, reduce the overall need for their staff to commute, with flexibility in the times when they have to commute allowing them to avoid peak times.

The wider adoption of smarter working practices will not only benefit the staff involved, it will have a significant knock-on effect of reducing overall traffic congestion and public transport overcrowding by extending the rush hour and reducing peak demand, making the daily commute more bearable for those workers that have no choice.

In addition, smarter working may help mitigate the significant increase in deaths and injuries that occur on our roads during the winter months, many of which are schoolchildren.

A number of spokespersons will be available from both Work Wise UK and from organisations which successfully practice smarter working, both national and regional.

Work Wise UK will be publishing a series of tips and guidance on working smarter, which will be circulated to the media and uploaded on the Work Wise website prior to Commute Smart Week.