The Liberal Democrats` transport minister, Norman Baker, has called on employers to allow employees to work one day a fortnight from home as part of the Government`s drive to cut transport congestion and create a low carbon economy.
"21st century transport choices should fit a 21st century world where we shouldn`t just use smart cards to travel, we should be smarter about when we travel and when we use office techology for virtual travel instead", Baker says.
Although working from home may not be feasible for some workplaces, flexible working is also about breaking out of the 9-5 mould. Staggering commuting times to avoid rush hour would not only ease traffic congestion, but also possibly lower stress levels and allow employees to participate in the family routine, such as doing the school run. Baker sees these `social` benefits of homeworking as important ways to achieve the ellusive work life balance.
However, employers do need to consider how they will monitor employees working from home to ensure they are not just out talking to the neighbours, which Baker also noted would be a positive spin off of home working!
With the UK`s transport system soon to face additional pressure as a result of public sector spending cuts, these flexible and virtual working initiatives are something we should all be thinking about implementing now.
Clarkslegal has a Green HR policy and we are happy to advise on sustainability issues in the workplace.