Public and private UK organisations and employees are being invited to take part in the second annual Work Wise Week to continue helping create ‘smarter’, more productive working practices.

Staff and employers alike are being asked to consider a week-long trial of smarter working practices during the week-long initiative from 16 to 22 May, such as home, flexible, mobile and remote working, to understand for themselves the benefits and practicalities of this modern day approach to 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, Work Wise UK chief executive. “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.”

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, it maintains, 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.

The scheme claims many smarter working practices are very simple to implement, such as:

  • Allowing staff to come in either an hour later or an hour earlier, with a reciprocal hour shift at the end of the day, enabling staff to avoid the busiest travel times.
  • Allowing staff to take a half-hour lunch break each day, so they can leave at 3.00pm on the last day.
  • Allowing staff to work from home on Friday 18 May, National Work from Home Day. Work Wise UK said 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, organisations are being urged to ask staff to cancel all external face-to-face staff meeting, and instead hold them by either video or telephone conference call to save time and resources and reduce congestion and pollution.
  • Where appropriate, allow staff to roster their own shifts during the week.