Equal Opportunities Commission report endorses smarter working

Smarter working results in 20 per cent increase in productivity

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is yet another organistion which has discovered that smarter working is the way forward for the UK. It is almost repeating the comments made yesterday by the TUC, CBI, Transport for London, RAC Foundation and BT where these organisations signed the Work Wise UK ‘concordat’ to encourage the wider adoption of smarter working practices across the UK and bring about a workplace revolution.

In its report, ‘Working outside the box’, published today, the EOC reveals that 6.5 million people in Britain could be using their skills more fully if more flexible working was available. It warns that rigid working practices are driving highly qualified workers into jobs below their skill level in order that they can achieve a work – life balance.

The report goes on to say: “Outdated workplace cultures are further damaging the economy by increasing pressure on an over-stretched transport system. Overcrowded rush-hour trains and motorways are causing misery for commuters and wasting time for employers.

Work Wise UK chief executive, Phil Flaxton, said: “Work Wise UK fully endorses the findings of the EOC report, especially as the same issues were raised by several leading businesses and organisations yesterday as they signed the Work Wise UK concordat.

“It is apparent that the calls for change in working practices is gaining momentum. As we have been saying for some time now, wide adoption of smarter working practices is an obvious answer to the four main issues facing our economy today: competitiveness, the environment, road congestion and quality of life.

“It is not as though smarter working is untested and untried: BT has been using smarter working practices for over 10 years, with productivity increases of 20 per cent where they are introduced. Currently, 80,000, of its workforce, including around 12,000 homeworkers, are working flexibly.

“Smarter working is a win – win answer, there is no downside. The only obstacles to the wider adoption of smarter working practices are culture and management style, but even these are not insurmountable.”

The Work Wise UK concordat was also signed yesterday by the heads of the British Chambers of Commerce, Association for Commuter Transport, SCOPE, Technology Means Business and Henley Management College. 

Further information about Work Wise UK and to view the concordat go to www.workwiseuk.org.

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Notes to editors:
· A number of spokespersons are available for interview or to comment.
· 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.pressrooms.net/workwiseuk.
· 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 and Henley Management College.

For further information, please contact:

Work Wise UK: 
Roy Turner, Chelgate PR
020 7939 7939 or 07970 522232
rt@chelgate.com

Michael Hardware, Chelgate PR
020 7939 7939 or 07775 925 274
meh@chelgate.com

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