By Marcus Leach

Today, Friday 20th, is National Work from Home Day. Millions of workers across the UK will have not gone into work. None of them will have rung in with excuses, and none of their bosses will have accused them of skiving.

Many people will have noticed that there are fewer commuters, the roads are clearer and public transport less crowded than usual. Stress levels have fallen, pollution levels are down and CO2 emissions reduced. People are happier, have a better work-life balance and ultimately will be healthier.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, the organisation behind National Work from Home Day, said smarter working practices, such as working from home, have become established and more widely accepted as a modern business practice.

The aim of National Work from Home Day is to allow people the opportunity to demonstrate that without the stress induced by the workplace environment, with the often long commute many have to endure, people can be even more productive by regularly, or even occasionally, working from home.

"Working from home can cut business costs, expensive and time-wasting commutes and help staff manage their workload more effectively," TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said.

"Over the last decade, more employers and staff have embraced working from home, though recent job insecurity has made some staff reluctant to ask for it. By embracing national work from home day, we can get the UK working smarter again.

"The impact of even a small number of people working smarter would be noticeable. Even if staff worked only an average of one day every two weeks at home, this would result in ten per cent less people commuting and travelling."