Smart and innovative

New? The Monday work-from-home day!

Published on February 8, 2023

'Working from home more? Then I miss the social contacts.' Can we solve that? Of course. In Gemert-Bakel they may have recently figured out how.

More home workers keeps the region more accessible and a lot more sustainable. Yet many potential home workers go to the office. The lack of social contacts is one of the reasons for this. Brainport Bereikbaar and SmartwayZ.NL will do something about this together. We asked structural behavioral change project leader Rick Baggermans from SmartwayZ.NL about the ins and outs.

Changing behavior is difficult!

'We have to make different choices in our travel behavior. For better accessibility and a more sustainable world. That is not easy, behavioral change is an intensive process. Especially if you want to achieve that with large groups of people. That is why we are launching three pilots for behavioral change with SmartwayZ.NL and Brainport Bereikbaar. For working from home, for cycling and for using public transport. Last autumn we started the first pilot: working from home. To do this, we mapped out the desired, undesirable behavior and the associated motives. From people who always go to the office, but also from people who only work from home 1 day a week.'

Inexpensive, efficient, scalable

The investigations were thorough. 'A specialized agency even allowed researchers to travel and work from home with people. SmartwayZ.NL also conducted extensive travel motives and resistance research. These studies provided insights into barriers and opportunities. We then came up with four solutions – interventions – to encourage working from home. The unique thing is that we only use solutions that are not expensive, do not take much time and are very easily scalable. To discover which of these solutions best ensures that people work from home more often, we are now conducting various tests.'

All working from home at the same time

'For example, we introduced the Monday work-from-home day in Gemert on January 23 and 30. Based on the idea that you can easily solve the lack of social contact if everyone in the village works from home on the same day. Because then you can have a coffee with your mother. Or walk with the neighbor during the lunch break. That also immediately strengthens the village.'

And now quickly on to results on the street

'This intervention phase lasts two weeks. We measure the results, for example, with license plate registrations: are there fewer cars on the road as a result of the interventions? Of course we are very curious about the results. Suppose that 1 of the 4 solutions ensures that people's 3% starts working from home: that means thousands of car avoidances per day in North Brabant alone! Of course, we really hope for that. The report will be available in March. And hopefully we can quickly move on to results on the street!'

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