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Tomorrow is National Working from Home Day

As a journalist, my heart drops when I start receiving press releases about any sort of "Day". This is because the majority of "Days" are Public Relations (PR) exercises dreamed up by clever PR agencies to promote their clients' agendas.
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Written by Tom Espiner on

As a journalist, my heart drops when I start receiving press releases about any sort of "Day". This is because the majority of "Days" are Public Relations (PR) exercises dreamed up by clever PR agencies to promote their clients' agendas. I have no problem with that, as long as people recognise that the media they are consuming that is PR generated is mostly advertorial as opposed to editorial.

However, tomorrow's "Day" du jour (geddit?) is "National Working from Home Day", and is being busily promoted by its organisers, Workwise UK. OK, some PRs -- and I don't blame them, good opportunity -- have jumped on the bandwagon and are promoting their clients' interests, but Workwise UK itself doesn't seem to have any ulterior motives.

Some Workwise UK members, such as BT, may obviously benefit from an increase in people working from home (or 'WFH' as it's known at CNET, not to be confused with 'WTF'). However, the majority of members -- Transport for London, the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Equality and Human Rights Commission -- do not obviously directly benefit commercially.

I rang up Adam Legresly, who is head of operations for Workwise UK, to find out what all the noise was about.

"We're trying to raise awareness of the benefits of working from home," said Legresly. "We're not promoting shirking of responsibility, it's all to do with business benefits. In the BT Centre they have 4000 staff working in a building that's designed to hold 2000 people -- they're sweating their assets."

I assumed this was due to half of the BT staff at any one time working remotely, rather than them literally being crammed in like sardines, or prisoners in an overcrowded jail, 'sweating their assets'.

"You can bring in the disabled, single working parents -- it's a way of seizing on talent," said Legresly. "Small organisations might especially consider savings that can be made on health and safety requirements, commuting time is cut down, and there's a reduction in CO2 emissions."

I asked Legresly whether he was working from home, which he confirmed.

"I am working from home at the moment," he said. "And I'll be working from home tomorrow. Everybody at the organisations works from home some of the time, otherewise it would be a bit hypocritical."

So, I'd like to know readers' opinions. Does WFH make you or your boss go WTF? Or are you in favour? And will you be working from home tomorrow?

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