TUC leader backing home working

Travel costs, rush hour traffic and pollution could all be reduced if bosses let their staff work from home, a trade union leader has said.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber's comments come as a survey reveals millions of people would prefer to work from home regularly but are not being allowed to.

As many as 20% of workers are keen to work flexibly, including not going into the office five days a week, the TUC said.

Travelling fewer miles to work could very well reduce yourcar insurance premium.

Benefits of allowing home working for the company would be improving a company's reputation, reducing sickness absence, boosting productivity and making recruitment easier.

Almost one in five workers were told by their employer that they could not work from home, even if it would benefit the business, said the TUC, suggesting that millions were being affected.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Too many workers are wasting their time making journeys they don't need to, clogging our transport networks during the rush hour and adding to their carbon footprint unnecessarily, while companies are losing out on the cost and productivity benefits of home working. Surely we can be a lot smarter than that."

Phil Flaxton, of campaign group Work Wise, said: "Apart from enhancing work-life balance for employees, with the added health benefits, and reducing the need to travel, working from home can significantly improve productivity, enabling organisations to reduce costs whilst improving efficiency."

The report, based on a survey of more than 2,000 people, was published to mark National Work From Home Day.

Copyright © Press Association 2010