Local Business Centres

Transport remains the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases. In the UK, 55 of greenhouse gasses are emitted by cars. 68 of workers in the UK typically travel to work by car, covering around 100 billion kilometres every year. 1.8 billion journeys are also made each year by rail, for work purposes, with journey times averaging 59 minutes - a 25 increase in a standard working day. It is estimated that the average employee spends nearly £150 per month commuting, totalling over £150 billion per year by all employees in the UK.

This traditional way of working has remained, despite technology, such as cloud storage, video conferencing and screen sharing, that is common in nearly all large businesses and negates the need for employees to share a centralised work-space. A policy change or incentive scheme could start a cultural shift towards remote working, giving employees the right to work from mixed tenure shared work-space in business centres local to their own homes for a minimum number of days per year. If office workers were allowed to work locally, commuting time and cost would be cut dramatically, having a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. As the shift begins, employees are likely to favour Employers adopting this policy.

Workers would benefit from a cost and time saving, improving their health and well-being and increasing their net income. Governments would benefit from lower imported oil costs and a faster upturn in consumer spending. Everyone would benefit from faster, pleasanter journeys brought about by the noticeable reduction in rush-hour congestion on roads and public transport. Rail fares could be more easily stabilised as the pressure to increase the capacity of the rail system eases and spending on highways infrastructure could be reduced and invested into climate friendly solutions such as solar roads.

 

Actor(s)

Employers

 

Trigger (intervention)

 

Criticality

 

Feedback Dynamics

 

Timescale and scaleability

 

Resistance

 

Author

Zoe Cawthorn

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