Save the world, stay at home, drive a Hummer

Posted in flexible working, green, tax by Tony C on April 23, 2007

I was on one of my local curry houses last night waiting for a takeaway, which wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for but you have to try these things don’t you, and to pass the time I picked up the Sunday Telegraph and noticed an article about staggering commute times and encouraging home working to reduce carbon emissions.  So far the Government have taken the rather blunt and clumsy approach of blanket tax rises to persuade people to drive less polluting vehicles but it could as the Institute of Directors suspect have an adverse effect on business costs.  How about just getting people to drive their cars less by making it easier for them to work at home?

To me this makes perfect sense.

Carbon tax can then be aimed correctly at the amount of C you produce not the potential to produce.  If you drive your Hummer twice a week to work your carbon footprint is probably smaller than someone who drives their Ford Fiesta everyday on the same journey, runs the kids to school and can’t pop to the supermarket without driving.

How many people really need to travel during the rush hour?  How many businesses need everyone to be sat at their desk between 9:00 and 5:00, not many I bet.  How many businesses would operate just or more effectively if some of it’s staff worked from home or another more convenient location a few days a week.  The nine-to-five corporate habit we have makes no sense and by kicking it not only would it make employees happier and more productive but employers too.

3 Responses

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  1. […] Stufforama also noted the same piece. […]

  2. honi said, on May 3, 2007 at 12:06 am

    It also makes perfect sense to me as well. In fact I posted a piece on this topic back in January.

    What prompted me to write this piece was the juxtoposition of all the messages about climate change with an observation of the sheer volume of traffic on the major roads I was travelling on.

    This led me to wonder were they were all coming from and going to. I realised that a vast number of them were repeating the same journey day in, day out, to the same office location, to sit at a desk and PC for the vast proportion of the time. Why do we need to do this?

    Cannot we replace the desk, PC and telephone in the office for the equivalent at home, at least for some of the week? This may not work for all of us, for all of the time, but we could cull a significant number of those completely pointless repeated journeys – surely?

    Why are we not hearing any response to this idea from government? Surely its an easy and quick win?…or as the IoD notes, is this just too simple, making it insufficiently grandiose for the political elite?

  3. honi said, on July 5, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve justed posted another entry on this subject because I just came across Workwise; which I believe is the first credible and sizeable UK initiative that I have seen.

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