Whitehall begins homeworking experiment

Government departments are this week taking part in a homeworking initiative which ministers believe could lead eventually to a permanent change in the way civil servants work.

Government departments are this week taking part in a homeworking initiative which ministers believe could lead eventually to a permanent change in the way civil servants work.

Operation StepChange is a week-long event, beginning today. During the week many civil servants will work from home using technology such as video conferencing to communicate with colleagues.

The initiative is being run to test Whitehall’s readiness for the Olympics when it is anticipating travel demand could impact local businesses in London.

The Department for Transport says: "As a large organisation with staff in central London, the Government has a key role to play in changing travel during Games time – ensuring that the business of Government can get done while supporting a successful Olympics and reducing the impact on our transport network.

"So, across Whitehall, Government departments are making plans to positively change half of their commuting, business travel, deliveries and collections during the Games."

The Department for Transport aims to set an example by "encouraging staff to reduce the impact of their travel by either: working from home – or offices closer to where they live; re-routing their travel to and from work: re-moding – in other words walking or cycling; and re-timing their working day to avoid the busiest periods".

The Department says it hopes initiatives like StepChange will leave "a powerful legacy". It says: "It will transform the way business and government works so that we make the most of the resources and technologies available to us, become more efficient and effective as a workforce and help to reduce our carbon footprint."





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