Rethink Series: REDUCE your commute

What an exciting time to travel around the region this summer! With the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games less than a month away and the weather warming up, there is no better time to rethink the way you travel. Smart Commute is calling all you Greater Golden Horseshoe region folks to rethink your commute and explore your travel options by following the 4 Rs: Reduce, Re-mode, Re-time and Reroute. Changes are coming to the road and transit network during the Games, so why not shake things up with your daily commute?Reduce Icon

reduce

[ri-doos, –dyoos]
-to make smaller or less in amount, degree, size, intensity, number…

Minimize your need to travel

Sometimes the best commute is no commute at all. Try minimizing your need to travel during the busy Games period to be more efficient and help ease congestion in the region. There are various ways you can do this, such as working from home or scheduling conference calls instead of in-person meetings.

Conference calls and virtual meetings

There are several alternatives that are affordable and easy to access, such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing.

Teleconference: Teleconferencing is hosting meetings through a telecommunications medium—such as a telephone. It links people from multiple locations on one phone line, usually projected on a speaker phone. Some examples of popular teleconferencing software include Microsoft Lync, GoToMeeting, Citrix, and UberConference.
Videoconference: Like teleconferencing, videoconferencing allows people at multiple locations who have webcam access to be linked via audio and video, offering an engaging two-way, face-to-face interaction that resembles a real-time in person meeting. Popular videoconferencing software options include Google Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime.
Web conferencing: Web conferencing combines audio and video connections with even more tools, such as screen sharing, real-time editing capabilities, whiteboards and polling tools. It is effective and efficient for larger audiences and for training sessions and webinars. Two popular options for web conferencing are Cisco’s WebEx Meetings and GoToMeeting.

Work from home/telework

Teleworking is becoming increasingly common in many workplaces. Having the option to do your work in location outside the office – either from home or another site – is an attractive benefit for some. Studies have shown that teleworking can boost productivity, as there may be fewer distractions and people are able to work during the hours that they find most productive.

Working from home, telework, or telecommuting is a work arrangement in which the employee does not commute to a central work location, but rather works from their home or a preferred location, such as a coffee shop. It’s easy to stay connected through smart phones and VPN (virtual personal network) access to the home base and the teleworker can participate in meetings using the above noted technologies.

Virtual meetings, conference calls or telework may not work for everyone. If in-person meetings and on-site workdays are required, try to modify your meeting times to avoid the peak hours and busy days during the Games period (check the Games Schedule to see when events are being held in your area).

If you haven’t tried teleworking yet, and the option is available, give it a try this summer. With the road and transit networks expected to be busier than usual, skip the commute altogether and bring the office home for a day or two. Here are some inspiring Smart Commute Case Studies.

Check out the Smart Commute factsheet for some tips on teleworking and flexible work arrangements.

Download the Reduce poster here.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on the 4 Rs.

Happy reducing and enjoy the Games!