This week, Brake is running its annual Road Safety Week and has invited employers to show their support.
Sadly, every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road. With our garden roominstallation team constantly on the road, we’re all too aware of the frequency of incidents.
What’s more, the European Transport Safety Council estimate that business drivers account for 40% of road deaths. Compared to any other work activity, driving contributes to far more work-related deaths and serious injuries.
If we consider some of the startling facts released by Brake this week, it’s clear to see that greater action is needed – even in the middle of a pandemic.
The most alarming fact of all is that one in five of all UK drivers (18%) admit to speeding at more than 100mph on a public road.
The stopping distance at 100mph is approximately 182m, meaning it is virtually impossible to avoid a crash when another vehicle appears.
We cannot stop driving and we wouldn’t want to. However, there are some practical things we can all do to improve road safety. At SMART Garden Offices, we thought we would share some of the advice we give our garden room installation teams and consider the benefits of working from home to reduce the risk.
Brake: The Three Crises
Firstly, we understand and support Brake’s campaign on The Three Crises. People and the planet are enduring three crises on the road and these are Carnage, Climate Change and Sickness & Inequality.
Road death is the 9th biggest killer globally and is expected to rise to 7th. That is 1.2 million families each year who have to hear the devastating news of a loved one’s passing. These facts are never lost on us. This is why we remind our garden room install team to take regular breaks and ensure our delivery vehicles are routinely maintained.
Two thirds of the globe’s oil production are consumed by transport. The biggest problem is the rise in vehicles, with the global car fleet expected to triple by 2050. Promoting working from home is one of the ways in which businesses can proactively reduce their carbon emissions. That’s why we have such a broad range of garden offices, so that there’s an outdoor space for every type of work.
Sickness and inequality
Road vehicle particle pollutants contribute to millions of respiratory disease deaths each year. With the average commuter spending 221 hours a year getting to and from work, weight-gain and reduced mobility are also a risk. Those working from home, on the other hand, can use that time to go for a run or can do the school run that they weren’t able to do before.
So, what role does working from home play?
With an average road closure lasting 2.4 hours following a major accident, it’s no surprise that 53% of business leaders in our recent working from home survey report being better off not commuting.
We know that fewer cars on the road translates into less deaths. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reported in June 2020 that the number of people killed or seriously injured in road collisions fell by 70% during lockdown.
Although nobody wants a return to the lockdown measures seen at the beginning of the year, for some, working from home may end up being a permanent arrangement. In fact, research from O2 shows that 45% of people think COVID-19 will change their company’s long-term approach to working from home.
Furthermore, a change in work and commuting habits could reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 14.3 megatonnes. To put this into context, that is the total yearly emissions for Northern Ireland.
Consider a Home Garden Office
Needless to say, the road safety and climate change argument for working from home is a strong one. But how easy is it to work from home permanently? How important is a designated space and being able to just switch off?
Very important. Whether you’re considering working from home because, like 60% of respondents to our survey, you value time with family and friends. If you’re fed up sitting in traffic jams and want to reduce your risk on the road, a SMART Garden Office could be just what you need.
Whatever your profession, a SMART Garden office is built to meet your specific requirements and is therefore as unique as your business. All seven ranges make fantastic garden offices, but we recommend taking a look at our Ultra and Key Studio ranges first.
The savings you make from not commuting (between £146-£305 for UK commuters) could cover some or all the monthly payment of a SMART Garden Office if you’re considering finance. SMART can supply you with a 1-person office for less than £200 a month (terms apply). We have partnered with leading finance provider Pegasus to offer competitive rates or you may choose to purchase your garden room outright.
To make choosing your garden office a simple and enjoyable experience, please download a copy of our brochure. You’ll certainly feel inspired to create your ideal working from home space.