I get funny looks when I tell people that I get to the office at 6.45am. They think I’m mad, especially as my arrival in preceded by a 60 mile commute. There’s method in my madness though. By commuting early I usually avoid the hell that is the M25 during rush hour.
Anyone who lives in the UK knows that our road infrastructure is woefully inadequate for the demands we now make of it. But I think there could be an answer. And it’s as simple as this:
- Fewer people using the road = less congestion
- People travelling at different times = even less congestion
So, now that we’ve got our heads around the mathematics, all we need is a way to make this happen. Telecommuting could be the answer. By allowing people to work from home, or indeed from anywhere other than their normal place of work, we reduce the amount of commuters. By encouraging people to work when they want (rather than as slaves to the ‘9 to 5’ convention) we could ease the pressure during our traditional rush hours.
But it gets better. A recent study by Dr Ravi Gajendran of Pennsylvania State University showed that "telecommuting has positive effects on employee morale, on work-family balance and on stress." By studying data from over 12,000 telecommuters, the psychology boffins have concluded that there are virtually no downsides to telecommuting!
That gets my vote. I am now more committed than ever to working from home 2 days a week. Nothing puts me in a worse frame of mind than crawling late into the office having spent several hours staring at the exhaust pipe of the car in front. So why take the risk? If you need me, I’ll be at home.