State-side, The Corporation for National and Community Service* is growing concerned about the decline in community cohesiveness in US cities; the knock-on effect of which is a plummeting number of volunteers.
This emerging trend is part and parcel of commuter neighbourhoods where residents travel long distances to their workplace spending relatively short amounts of time at home and – even more so- out and about interacting with their local community.
Equally concerned about time- consuming commutes to the workplace, albeit for different reasons, is the organisation Workwise UK which campaigns for flexible working hours whereby workers can have the choice to travel outside rush hour or even to opt for home working. The Workwise UK movement aims to reduce congestion, the environmental impact of the various transport networks and the health problems associated with current working practices (e.g. commuter stress).
The Children’s Society inquiry** echoes this call for home working after their inquiry highlighted how long working days away from the home are putting family life ‘under threat’ and in particular causing children to become ‘lonely’.
The RAC Foundation; a supporting member of Workwise UK, hopes that these new findings, along with the growing body of evidence in this area, will help to emphasise the benefits of “smarter working” to managers across the UK.
* www.planetizen.com 14th July 2007
** The Daily Mail 17th July 2007