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Welcome To Commute Smart Week 2012

Phil Flaxton. CEO, Work Wise UK. 12 November 2012

Phil Flaxton. CEO, Work Wise UKThe dark mornings and evenings are with us again and Winter is on its way so, its time for me to launch Commute Smart Week, which starts our annual campaign to raise the awareness of implementing smarter ways of commuting during the winter months.

Commuting for long periods of time has become a part of the UK’s working culture. The excessive time spent commuting is one of the main factors involved in the work-life balance issue. Not only is the amount of time commuting an issue, the 9 to 5 culture with its peak travel times generates congestion on railways, underground and road networks and as a consequence, increases stress for commuters. The knock-on effect of reducing overall traffic congestion and public transport overcrowding by extending the rush hour and reducing peak demand through smarter  commuting will make the daily commute more bearable for those workers that have no choice on when and how they travel.

There is also a significant cost to businesses and the economy due to lost productivity. It is estimated that £22billion is lost each year due to bad weather conditions and congestion on the UK’s transport infrastructure.

There are many ways of avoiding the misery of commuting during the dark mornings and evenings, which millions of people endure as they struggle to get to and from work. However, employers and their staff can work together in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the working day. So, to avoid the stress and disruption this winter, my advice in the months a head is ……..Don’t be in the Dark, Commute Smart.

Guest Blog: Combating Commute-Creep with Smarter Working Could Benefit Workers and Employers Alike

by Frances O'Grady. General Secretary, TUC
With the first snows of winter forecast to fall next week, this is the time of year when the commuter blues deepen. Travelling in bad weather in the dark is depressing and can obviously be hazardous. Many people are already escaping our gloomy November roads, bus stops and station platforms, but even more want to do so. Read Article...

Guest Blog: Two Wheels for Winter

by Catherine Litherland, Membership Marketing Manager, British Cycling Association
Now that the dark nights and cold mornings are set in for winter, it can become increasingly tempting to lock the bike away for the next few months and seek refuge in the warmth of the car or the train as you seek to battle your way to work. Read Article...

Guest Blog: The Licence Plate Lottery

by Philip Gomm. Head of External Communications, RAC Foundation
Every commuter who has ever been stuck in a rush-hour traffic jam has probably gazed idly at the hundreds of fellow car users surrounding him and wondered why more of them couldn’t work from home one or two days a week, or stagger their working hours to avoid the morning and evening peaks, thereby freeing up a useful bit of space for those who just have to travel at peak times. Read Article...

Crisis? What Crisis?

by David Lennan, Chairman, WorkWise UK
What a difference a day makes. Just a short while ago, we saw once again the devastation that weather can deliver to our communities and businesses. This has again been dramatically highlighted in the Philippines, where we have seen the havoc that storms can inflict and we know only too well, that the recovery process takes considerable time, huge effort and is a massive distraction from the routine of our daily lives. Read Article...

Guest Blog: Healthy Working is Wise Working

by Emma Donaldson-Feilder. Affinity Health at Work

Work Wise Week is great time to reflect on all the different ways in which employers can create smarter, wiser ways of working. One of the strands of this reflection needs to be about how to ensure that the workplace and workforce are healthy, so that employees are able to give of their best and achieve high performance.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Smarter Working in the Czech Republic

by Jakub Heikenwälder. IT and Communications Consultant, Leucanta Ltd

In 2012 the city of Hodonin started to prepare a project on promoting of teleworking in the region of south Moravia, Czech Republic. Through this project contacted Phil Flaxton, the CEO of Work Wise UK.

In the Czech Republic smarter ways of working are still not very common. Our country has a population of about 10 million inhabitants; half of them live and work in the cities, the other half live in country. The average daily commute time to work is about 80 minutes a day; in some big cities it’s even more.  Unfortunately, there is still a widespread belief that “to work” means the place or location, not the activity or production.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: There's Good News and Bad News

by Frances O'Grady. General Secretary, TUC

There is both good news and bad news on National Work from Home Day 2013. The good news is that home-working has been steadily growing, despite the UK’s long-running economic troubles.  The number of home-workers increased by 469,000 between 2007 and 2012, up by 13.1 per cent.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Caution

by Philip Gomm. Head of External Communications, RAC Foundation

The arguments for teleworking simply seem to get stronger and stronger.

With the UK population set to increase by ten million people in the next twenty years or so, the number of cars to rise by about four million over the same period and delays on the roads to jump by more than 50%, there has to be a better way of doing business. And it is technological advances which are offering up the opportunities.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: It's Not All About The Money

by Stephanie Maxwell. Smart Working Project Manager, Wokingham Borough Council

In April 2010 Wokingham Borough Council embarked on a project that looked at how we could work more flexibly.  The aim at that time was to reduce expensive office space across the organisation. We decided that we would apply a 2:1 desk policy, where there would be 2 staff to any one desk within the civic offices.  This policy would allow us to free up enough space to move staff into the civic building from our other sites. These sites could then be sold, raising us capital receipts and on-going savings on maintenance costs.  Money was at the forefront of our minds.

The Smart Working Project was born……

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Flexible Working Advice for Employers & Employees

by Anne Sharp. CEO, ACAS

Twenty years ago, flexible working was the exception and not the rule. When I started my career there was a general attitude that flexible working was a perk for new mums. The response to suggestions that it could be applied more widely was 'it won't work here' or it's 'for other people, not us'.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Increasing Productivity Through Remote Working

by Robert Gorby. PowWowNow

The benefits of remote working are so vast that it is hard to argue why you wouldn’t want to offer it as an option for your business. With an increased pressure to perform on time-poor staff and global workforces, remote working allows workers to stay in touch no matter where they are in the world.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: The Benefits of Remote Working

by Joe Hallwood, Co-Founder TEFL

In late 2008 my wife Jennifer and I set up TEFL Scotland Ltd., a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course provider, from our garden shed in the Highlands of Scotland. Since then the organisation has undergone rapid growth and development, with the formation and enormous success of the TEFL England, TEFL Wales and TEFL Courses Ireland brands.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Flexible Working - Not Just A Sweetener

by Philip Vanhoutte. Senior VP & MD, Plantronics

For many years now, Work Wise Week has championed smarter working in the UK. Whether it’s mobile or flexible working, the not-for-profit initiative believes that smarter working is good for businesses and employees alike. And they’re not wrong!

Read Article...

Keep Pushing The Boundaries

by David Lennan, Chairman, WorkWise UK

As witnessed last summer during the Olympic Games, workforce flexibility was a key contributor to business success and continuity. Employers and employees who prepared and planned were rewarded, with easier travel arrangements, less hassle, less absenteeism and greater productivity.

Read Article...

No Time Like The Present!

by David Lennan. Chairman, Work Wise UK

Well, much to the surprise of many commentators and some well known cynics, this year’s great sporting moment, The Olympic Games, delivered a roaring success, not just from the athletes who brought home the medals, but from all the successful business operations that ran like clockwork.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Commuting, An Issue In Its Own Right

by Frances O’Grady. TUC General Secretary Designate

The TUC campaigns on all the big issues at work.

But these days, with rail season tickets prohibitively expensive and petrol hitting around 140p a litre, the amount of time and money spent just getting to and from work is a pretty big issue in its own right.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: A Finger In the Dyke?

by Philip Gomm. Head of External Communications, RAC Foundation

The lot of the commuter is rarely a happy one. Often it is distinctly miserable. On the railways there are overcrowded trains and sky-high fare prices increasing above the rate of inflation. On the roads there are... well essentially the same things: jam packed roads and escalating running costs.

Read Article...

Welcome To Commute Smart Week 2012

by Phil Flaxton. CEO, Work Wise UK

The dark mornings and evenings are with us again and Winter is on its way so, its time for me to launch Commute Smart Week, which starts our annual campaign to raise the awareness of implementing smarter ways of commuting during the winter months.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: How Smart Are You?

by Norma Pearce. HR Director EMEA, Plantronics Ltd

It’s strange that within the business world senior executives are constantly analyzing business models, challenging the ways in which they conduct their business, constantly striving to become the best in their field in regard their products, their marketing and sales strategy etc.  Yet when it comes to people strategy (the very mainstay/core of their business) it gets completely overlooked

Read Article...

Smart Companies Keep Smart People

by David Lennan. Chairman, Work Wise UK

Everyone has been telling us this week in Blogs, Tweets, Facebook and simple E mails that the world of work has changed and continues to do so at a very rapid rate. We know this all too well as Work Wise UK has been pioneering smarter, flexible working across the UK, for the last 7 years. 

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Doing Your Home Work

by Tony Grace. Chief Operating Officer, Virgin Media Business

This week was the seventh annual Work Wise Week, which included National Work From Home Day on Friday. It’s a fantastic initiative run by Work Wise UK, an organisation set up to encourage smarter ways of working including introducing more remote working.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Necessity, Not Choice.

by Philip Gomm. Head of External Communications, RAC Foundation

Picture the scene. More people. More cars. More traffic. More congestion. Welcome to a vision of the UK in the not too distant future.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Finding Your Own Home Working Routine

by Judy Heminsley, Author & Founder Working From Home Wisdom

It’s good to develop your own routine when you work from home, even if only loosely, as it helps get you into the frame of mind to start work, to pace yourself to stay alert and productive throughout the day and to be able to switch off when you finish.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: Employees Want Smarter Working

by Nicola Smith. Head of Economic and Social Affairs, TUC

The TUC supports Work-Wise Week and National Work from Home Day. They are important reminders that improving work organisation can generate mutual benefits. Many employees certainly have a strong appetite for change. The previous government’s Third Work Life Balance Survey found that about 1 in 5 employees wanted to work from home but could not do so, whilst similar numbers wanted to work flexi-time.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: The Changing Nature Of Work

by John Taylor. CEO, ACAS

In the midst of all of the hype and headlines about the Tanker Drivers’ dispute and Public Sector pensions, being asked to reflect on the ever evolving world of work is a welcome respite.

Read Article...

Guest Blog: The Question Is: Y Work?

by Richard Stephens. Co-founder, StaffShare / Owner, DirectionGroup
Clearly the Y generation want to work in different ways; BUT how does that impact on today's workplace and employers wanting to utilise the skills of this bright and technologically astute new generation?
Read Article...

Guest Blog: Technology Is Changing The World We Work In - Embrace The Change

by Simon Curry. CEO, Powwownow
The revolution of technology within business has made it possible for the way we work to completely change. The adaptation of things such as the smartphone, tablets and high speed broadband and Wi-Fi now allows you to be on the go 24/7 and choose your working patterns. You don’t have to be bound by the 9am-5pm drudgery of office working and commuting. Instead, this technology allows you to stay in touch with colleagues, suppliers and customers all around the world, whenever and wherever you are.
Read Article...

Guest Blog: Smarter Working On An International Scale

by Steve Byrne. Managing Director, Travel Counsellors

In a recent survey, Regus reported that the UK was “not as keen” on flexible working as other nations. Maybe it was the way the question was posed, because whilst the benefits of flexible working are often applauded by people within a business, from a commercial view, it’s also better for the customer - and of course the two are inter-dependent.

Read Article...

Welcome To Work Wise Week 2012

by Phil Flaxton. CEO, Work Wise UK

To herald the start of Work Wise Week 2012, and our new blog, Work Wise UK CEO Phil Flaxton reflects on 7 years of smarter working and invites UK PLC to play its part in a smarter, greener, working UK.

Read Article...

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