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The networks 
that do not work

Flexibility
Comment

British business and services suffer greatly from the networks that do not work - the road and rail networks. 

Disruption caused by road congestion, fuel shortages, railway closures or bad weather cost the country £billions. But instead of counting their losses, employers should be planning to minimise the pain caused by the kind of events we have seen in recent days.

Although goods need to be moved and work needs to be done, images of office workers stranded at their local stations should surely be consigned to the archives! Enduring a long, expensive and unpredictable journey just to sit mainly in front of a telephone and computer screen is no longer necessary in the 21st century - you can do that without travelling.

Harnessing flexibility

Many managers in the private and public sectors have embraced warmly the various types of e-business. But they often seem reluctant to change the way they work. Best practice in flexible working now involves "flexi-place" as well as "flexi-time" and "flexi-contract" . 

As business processes become less dependent on paper, so a growing proportion of work can be carried anywhere: at an office, at home, at a local business centre or on-the-move. Face-to-face contact is of course important - but productivity shouldn't grind to a halt without it!

Those employers that have adopted these new flexibilities have found that, when properly implemented, everyone wins - except perhaps those who make a living from transport and office buildings!

Organisations need to bring together those responsible for human resources, facilities and technology to develop plans for working in the information age. This should ultimately result in working practices that do not depend on the unattainable goals of reliable train services and uncongested roads.


no trains?

As Britain grinds to a halt amidst rail chaos, fuel shortages and floods, the head of the CBI brands Britain as being "like a banana republic"! 

But it doesn't have to be like that.... 


gridlocked as the 
fuel runs out?

 

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