The UK's Trades Union Congress has thrown its weight behind a three-year initiative to encourage the widespread adoption of flexible employment practices including mobile, remote and home working.
The TUC said yesterday that it is supporting the Work Wise UK campaign being organised by the IT Forum Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ''In an economy that is close to full employment, workers in many sectors are shifting their focus to quality of life issues.
"In practice this means gaining more flexibility over working time, eliminating excessive working hours and cutting down on commuting time.
"More than 10 million people regularly work overtime, although only half of them are rewarded with extra pay or time off in lieu."
The TUC sees "huge scope" for many workers to have more choice over their hours and working patterns through smarter working practices.
It believes that smarter working will increase efficiency and enable work to be completed more quickly, lessening the need for long hours.
"The working week figures do not take into account travel time, which in some areas of the country is very significant," added Barber.
"Simply reducing that element, or enabling the staggering of the rush hour, will have a fundamental impact on people's lives in terms of time and stress."
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of the IT Forum Foundation, said: "Having the support of the TUC is a significant step for Work Wise UK.
"It will be heavily involved in the development of the programme, and in the implementation over the three years of the campaign."
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