A national survey has revealed that almost 1 in 5 car commutes could be avoided after lockdown if employees who wish to remain working remotely are supported to do so.
The survey of 2,000 people found that 87 per cent of those currently working from home would like to continue doing so to some degree, meaning there is the potential for 6.2 million more regular remote workers in the UK post-COVID-19.
The resulting reduction in road traffic would avoid a surge in air pollution and the health issues it causes. The survey also shows that it could improve staff wellbeing: 54 per cent of lockdown home workers said they were feeling less stressed and 65 per cent said they were happier without having to deal with rush hour.
Majority want business action to cut traffic
The survey was commissioned by the Business Clean Air Taskforce (BCAT), a coalition of businesses committed to improving air quality in the UK.
Although remote working is not suitable for all professions and personal situations, the coalition is calling on businesses who can to embrace remote working more fully. Around two-fifths of those who have been working from home during the pandemic said they were previously not allowed to do so, and 74 per cent said they wanted businesses to do more to cut pollution and traffic post-lockdown.
‘We should take this opportunity’
Chris Large, partner at NGO Global Action Plan, said: “The experiences of working from home during lockdown have unlocked a new working option for millions of employees and it has kept many businesses running. If employers support greater remote working, as many as 1 in 5 car journeys driven for business purposes could be eliminated, equating to 11 billion miles saved per year.
“We should take this opportunity to minimise pollution and traffic, free employees from unnecessary travel and fortify business against future disruptions. We don’t need to work from home every day to make a significant reduction to congestion on the roads which will help people breath cleaner air.”
Posted under General Interest on 24 June 2020