Whilst working from home is not for everyone or every job there are many jobs that can be done 100% remotely. People are adults and are able to make up their own minds what works best for them taking into account their work, their mental health, their access to broadband and their need to meet in person with people. However, many workplaces are forcing people back to offices unnecessarily backed by little data other than the boss wants it. In support of everyone but especially those with disabilities, those on the neurodiverse spectrum, those with caring needs and those with long commutes, the right to decide how much work is home based, with 100% as an option should be decided by the worker not the workplace. People's productivity can be better measured by outcomes delivered rather than outputs or hours spent. Apart from supporting people, the reduction in unnecessary commuting would benefit the environment and free up the roads more for people that genuinely need to travel - people shipping goods, repairs, delivery, in person care and so on and would help Scotland meet its green targets more easily. This will also balance the economy and put less pressure on having to live near an expensive city to have a career and will support the regeneration of rural communities. Young people starting out in their careers will also be helped as they will have less pressure to live in expensive housing near cities and with expensive commutes. People on low incomes will benefit because less of their income will be spent on travel. This change is happening and many enlightened companies are already embracing 100% remote as an option for those who want it. This proposal is to address the unnecessary "in person" culture prevalent in some companies that are holding Scotland back. Background: I have been doing, writing about and researching remote work for over 30 years including writing the UK's first guide to getting online, the first online guide to Scotland and published research from 1993. I have seen completely wasteful unnecessary presenteeism to attend interviews that could just as easily been conducted online and having to spend 4 nights a week away in a London hotel for work that could just as easily been done from home and I have heard about many disabled people who requested remote work pre-pandemic but were denied it. e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/news/story/disabled-workers-fear-office-return-5099988/ and https://www.marketwatch.com/story/theres-no-excuse-for-not-offering-remote-work-the-coronavirus-induced-work-from-home-revolution-feels-like-vindication-for-some-workers-with-disabilities-2020-05-01 and article I wrote in 2017; https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-from-home-so-why-craig-cockburn/ Like the shift from in-person to e-commerce which started in the early 1990s, working from home represents a similar shift and opportunity. Local working hubs that can support local communities, less traffic on roads, more family time. Prioritising your health over a lengthy commute. Living somewhere you choose rather than having to move for your next job and having your job dictate where you live. Even MSPs would benefit from more remote working especially those covering large constituencies distant from Holyrood with island and peninsula communities. This isn’t about banning the office or forcing people not to work in offices, it’s about letting adults decide for themselves how they work, with 100% at home being an option and with productivity measured by outcomes rather than hours clocked. This really is the future and its happening. Let’s make it happen faster and make Scotland a leader.
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