Friday, December 22, 2006

Working From Home - a Way to Reduce Congestion

There was this story in the Times this week stating that a southern train company will offer large discounts on season tickets if people don’t come into London for a couple of days a week – the feeling being that people can ask to work from home a couple of days a week.

I’ve thought for a long time that the solution to easing congestion and reducing emissions more significantly has to include more home working. But most places I’ve worked, management thinks working from home is akin to skiving off (of course unless it’s they who are working from home, then it’s work).

There is an unbelievable level of hypocrisy and shortsightedness with respect to this issue in the UK. Most of my jobs have involved me, a computer with internet access, a phone and a photo copier. I can do all of that from home, but I’ve never had a request to work from home for part of the week approved. Meanwhile, every boss I’ve had since coming back to the UK has frequently not showed up for work and called in to say they are ‘going to work from home today.’ They rarely plan ahead to work from home you notice?

Until working from home can be seen in the mature light of saving resources instead of a perk for management then businesses and transport systems will continue to suffer unnecessarily.

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