Commute Smart Week launches our annual campaign to raise the awareness of implementing smarter ways of commuting during the winter months.

During the coming months we will publish a series of articles and blogs from our partners covering a broad spectrum of topics relating to the significant impact on commuters as they often struggle to reach their place of work as well as the alternatives available to an increasing number of the working population.

When British Summer Time ends and the clocks have gone back, Commute Smart Week, reminds us that we have a real opportunity to change our attitudes and thinking in relation to work activities.

Are employers going to see business interrupted by poor weather and disrupted travel? Or are they going to grasp the opportunity of changing the way employees work, think about the risks to their organisation and introduce more flexibility to cut out disruptive and costly influences on business performance and productivity?

More and more organisations from all sectors are reviewing their working practices and thinking hard about how they manage people. Managing by outputs is the key, forget about presenteeism and concentrate on creating a workforce that is flexible, responsive and delivers the business plan. This won’t be done by 9.00 am to 5.00 pm clock watching, but by giving people the freedom to achieve. The next storm is always around the corner whether it be weather, or whether it be a crisis of our own making, which can be avoided.

Commute Smart week provides a real opportunity to revise tired working practices, think about how and where people work and set about adopting flexible approaches to people management as a key component of effective change.

The key elements of Commute Smart Week are:

  • Smarter Working: e.g. Agile Working, Flexible Working, Homeworking, Remote Working, Mobile Working, Condensed Working Hours and Four Day Working Weeks.

  • Encouraging Employees to travel outside peak commuting times: Coming into work an hour early, and then leaving an hour early at the end of the day, or going an hour later, and leaving an hour later.

  • Remote & Agile Working: Working from home one or two days a week or encouraging people to use satellite offices or drop-in centres instead of travelling to their normal office. These could include serviced office space or Wi-Fi hot spots such as coffee shops, and hotels.

  • Virtual Meetings: Encouraging people to hold a meeting by telephone, telephone/video conference or online instead of travelling to a meeting.

  • Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Benefits

  • Road Congestion and Safety: Road users are more at risk of an accident on a Friday than any other day of the week, especially during the winter. Statistics show that more accidents happen on a Friday, and particularly between the hours of 4 pm and 6 pm, than at any other time. The statistics also show that the number of accidents jumps by up to a fifth in the winter compared to the summer.

  • Smarter working and commuting may also help mitigate the significant increase in deaths and injuries that occur on our roads during the winter months, many of which are schoolchildren.