One third of employees wants to work from home
According to a survey among 2.000 Belgian employees, one third of them wants to work from home but is not allowed to do so. Teleworking, however, could save one out of six commuting kilometres.
Government can announce ‘teleworking alarm’ when heavy snowfall is predicted, but also on ‘normal’ days teleworking could be a useful way to solve traffic disruptions on the Belgian roads.
25 extra car minutes
Without any policy change we will all need 25 extra car minutes for a 50 km trip by 2030. Average speed on the road would go down with 25%.
The federal government service for mobility sees ‘an enormous potential’ in teleworking: “We already saw in the past that the solution for traffic jams is not to be found in massive government investments in infrastructure but in attempts to change our behaviour.”
Change of mindset
According to a large-scale inquiry among 2.000 Belgian employees one out of three wants to work from home, and also can, but is not allowed to do so by their management. Today 17% of employees work from home but with some small adaptations and a change of mindset it could go up to 42%.
The impact on mobility could be huge: today teleworkers avoid more than 9 million kilometres a day, or 7% of all commuting traffic. It could grow to 23 million saved kilometres a day, or one sixth of all kilometres during rush hours.
Organizations for SMB and self-employed people Unizo and VBO are in favour of teleworking but they understand the employers’ point of view too: “Teleworking is not advisable for every kind of job”, says Unizo’s delegate director, Danny van Assche.
“Employers are afraid of the ‘pigeon house syndrome’: people coming in and out without seeing each other, causing a lack of cohesion and creating a barrier for teamwork.”
According to VBO’s director-general, Bart Buysse, there are also some cultural issues. “Some managers have a problem when there is no direct surveillance, and not all employees can do without that surveillance.”