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New report: ‘Connected Recovery: Enabling the digital commute’

Published 18 June 2020 by Transform Scotland

CONNECTED RECOVERY:
New Transform report sets out priorities for the ‘digital commute’ post-lockdown

Transform Scotland [1] has today (Thursday 18 June) published a new report, ‘Connected Recovery’, which sets out recommendations for making ‘the digital commute’ the norm post-lockdown. [3]

The report calls on the Scottish & UK Government, the Scottish Parliament, organisations across all sectors of the Scottish economy, and public transport operators to take action to support home working and online business meetings — as this can deliver enormous economic and environmental benefits, as well as providing greater opportunities for rural Scotland. The report features supporting comment from Openreach Scotland.

The report is available at <https://transform.scot/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Transform-Scotland-Connected-Recovery-2020-06-18.pdf>.

Transform director Colin Howden said:

“Travelling by car for business is dead time that employers must in most cases pay for, but in which the employee can’t carry out any work. Providing remote working as an option where possible and making use of online meetings can be a meaningful way to increase profitability for businesses. 

“Normalising working from home and online meetings has the potential to deliver substantial environmental benefits, most obviously in reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, but also provides an opportunity for people in rural Scotland to access the major cities’ job markets.”

In a foreword to the report Brendan Dick, the Board Chair for Openreach Scotland, said:

“In many ways the lockdown has shown us how far we’ve come as a digital nation. We’re doing things online we didn’t contemplate before and innovation is happening across the whole country much faster than it might typically do.

“Public spending must support recovery from the crisis and redirect investment to areas that have the greatest social and economic impact for the country. There are growing calls for Government to prioritise investment in the provision and, crucially, exploitation of digital infrastructure ahead of such things as new, high-carbon road construction.”

The report set out four recommendations:

1. The Scottish Government, Scottish Public Bodies & the Scottish Parliament should demonstrate leadership by making remote working a standard option where this is possible, and to provide for online participation in all business meetings.

2. The Scottish & UK Governments need to continue progress in, respectively, ensuring alternative internet provision in rural areas, and the infill of the mobile network.

3. Public transport operators should provide flexible season tickets that address increasingly flexible working patterns.

4. The Scottish Government should work with COSLA to develop best-practice guidelines and HR policies as part of normalising remote working.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors. See <https://transform.scot/who-we-are/our-members/> for details.

[2] Transform Scotland ‘Connected Recovery’ report

The report is available on the Transform Scotland website at <https://transform.scot/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Transform-Scotland-Connected-Recovery-2020-06-18.pdf>.

This is the third in a series of reports that Transform is publishing during June, with papers on equalities & on active travel published in the past fortnight, and a further paper on the prospects for the recovery of public transport still due.

END OF NEWS RELEASE

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