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Shifting to Home Offices

Thursday, July 09, 2009 at 07:19 AM EDT

Not only does the UK have the longest commuting times on the European scale with an average of 45 minutes per trip, but also one of the most expensive public transportation systems in the world. In addition,seven out of ten people living outside London travel to work by car, which causes both higher waiting times in traffic and pollution. According to the RAC foundation, UK commuters travel up to 17% further to work than they did just 10 years ago.


So how does the current working system present itself when we look at the commuting and energy efficiency aspects? Cutting the current office-based style system would result in 3 major advantages for both employers and employees.

  1. The average 1,5 hours spent in transport per day would practically disappear apart from the need to attend occasional meetings.
  2. The commuting costs and office keeping costs would similarly disappear.
  3. The environment would benefit from decreased CO2 generation via lesser traffic levels and energy consumption.

The possible dangers of a home-based system are those resulting from isolating those working together. Isolation would result in less collaboration, which can be crucial in creative processes and also unless all individuals have a spotless work ethic, could result in much lesser work efficiency. Another question is whether people would actually like working from home. For some individuals the office buzz might be an indispensable element of their days.

With the emergence of locally-based desk rental spaces that orient themselves at particular industries, there may be some progress in sight, but they aren’t enough. The system will either remain as it is or will change beyond what we can see right now as far as simple location organisation system – entire organisations would have to change their ways of collaborating and doing business both internally and on a b2b level. The advantages of changing the system are immense both for their effect on the improvement of workers’ lifestyles and the energy/environmental level. Feel free to shoot ideas about this.

[Via BBC and RAC]

Tagged: commuting, environement, green, home offices, london, organisation, policy, work