Welcome to Commute Smart Week 2016 from Phil Flaxton - Chief Executive of Work Wise UK

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

Throughout the week, we will publish a series of guest blogs from some of our strategic partners as well as the heads of organisations who will share their views and knowledge on the way we commute.

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.

We start on Monday with a guest blog by Shirley Cramer CBE, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health who writes about the impact of rush hour commuting on our health and well being.

There is also a significant cost to businesses and the economy due to lost productivity. It is estimated that £22 billion 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. These include implementing flexi-time, staggered working hours and working remotely of from home. Employers and their staff should work together in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the working day which benefits productivity and work/life balance.

This week I invite commuters everywhere to participate, share their experiences and be involved by using social media to say what they are doing this winter to commute smart, tweeting #commutesmartweek @workwiseuk

So, to avoid the stress and disruption this winter, my advice is …. Don’t be in the Dark, Commute Smart.