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Employers Urged to Trial Flexible Working


Employers are being encouraged to spend a week trialling new working practices in a bid to boost Britain’s smarter working culture.

The second annual Work Wise Week takes place from May 16 to 22 and organisers are asking staff and employers alike to consider using the week to trial practices such as home, flexible, mobile and remote working.

“The age of working nine to five, 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.”

Smarter working practices employers are being encouraged to trial include:

  • Allowing staff to change their working day so they start and finish either an hour earlier or an hour later. 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.

Further information about the initiative, and how organisations can participate in Work Wise Week, can be found


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