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Call for weeks trial of new working pratices

Bringing about a workstyle revolution through smarter working practices Organisations and employees across the UK, both public and private, are being invited to take part in the second annual Work Wise Week (May 16 to 22) to continue helping create a ‘smarter’ working Britain.

Staff and employers alike are being asked to consider a week-long trial of smarter working practices, such as home, flexible, mobile and remote working, and so understand for themselves the benefits and practicalities of this modern day approach to working.

“The age of working 9 to 5, five days a week, from a central location, is for many fast coming to an end,” said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK. “This rigid work structure, which is largely dictated by culture and nothing else, is wasteful in terms of time and resources, damaging to the environment, and harmful in that it impacts upon stress levels and the health of employees.”

Many smarter working practices are very simple to implement, and it is these that organisations are being encouraged to try during Work Wise Week:

· Allowing staff to come in either an hour later or an hour earlier, with a reciprocal hour shift at the end of the day. This would enable staff to avoid the busiest travel times, effectively staggering the rush hour and making the journey far more tolerable for everyone.

· Allowing staff to take a half hour lunch break each day, and then let them leave at 3.00pm on the last day.

· Allowing staff to work from home on Friday May 18, National Work from Home Day. Even a small reduction in the number of people travelling on the roads or by public transport on that day will have a significant effect on congestion and overcrowding.

· During Work Wise Week, ask staff to cancel all external face-to-face staff meetings, and instead hold them by conference call, either video or telephone. This would save time and resources, and reduce congestion and pollution.

· Where appropriate, allow staff to roster their own shifts during the week.

Work Wise Week is being staged by Work Wise UK, a major five-year not-for-profit initiative, supported by the TUC and CBI, to encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices across the UK. This will revolutionise the way people work and increase business productivity and competitiveness, reduce transport congestion and pollution, improve health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise work and family commitments.

Further information about Work Wise UK, and how organisations can participate in Work Wise Week, can be found on the website (www.workwiseuk.org).

· Supporters of the Work Wise UK campaign include the CBI, TUC, the British Chambers of Commerce, BT, Transport for London, Scope, the RAC Foundation, Technology Means Business, Henley Management College and the Association for Commuter Transport.

· Work Wise UK is organised by the IT Forum Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation.

· Further information about Work Wise UK can be found on the website www.workwiseuk.org.

· A dedicated electronic media centre has been established for journalists to obtain further information, to download print-quality materials, and to register for media updates about Work Wise UK. This can be accessed either through the main website or directly at www.workwiseuk.pressrooms.net.

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