Enjoy a lie-in - work closer to home

A FORMER London commuter got tucked up in bed near Colchester North railway station to highlight the benefits of working closer to home. Businessman Dan Tidswell, who gave up his city commute a few years ago and has since set up his own IT support firm, PrettyGood IT, carried out the stunt yesterday .

A FORMER London commuter got tucked up in bed near Colchester North railway station to highlight the benefits of working closer to home.

Businessman Dan Tidswell, who gave up his city commute a few years ago and has since set up his own IT support firm, PrettyGood IT, carried out the stunt yesterday .

His bed was set up on the Westway approach to the station as part of Colchester 2020's drive to encourage more workers to find employment in the town.

“While we wouldn't all spend an extra hour in bed if we didn't have to commute, many of us would be able to have a more relaxed or even an earlier start to the working day,” explained Ewan Dodds, Colchester 2020 Lead Partner for Business and managing director of Whybrow Chartered Surveyors.

“Colchester has a booming £17billion economy and as a result of four exciting new developments, it is predicted that an additional 14,200 jobs will be created by the year 2020. There are some fantastic opportunities on our doorstep and less reason than ever to travel elsewhere for employment.”

Colchester 2020 estimates that with travel time to the station, commuters from the town are spending 15 hours a week in journey time, and are losing 705 hours a year, the equivalent to 88 working days.

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Mr Tidswell, whose new firm has prospered and recently moved to premises at Colchester Business Centre, said: “Deciding to set up my own business in Colchester was the best thing I ever did. I have a better quality of life. Rather than standing on the station platform at 7.30am every morning, I can start the day in bed with my laptop and a cup of tea.”

Dr Elizabeth Hall, chair of Colchester 2020 said work-life balance was an important issue.

“Stress can have a profound effect on physical and mental health and commuting can certainly be a contributory factor,” she said.

“Relaxed workers are more productive, so finding a less stressful approach to work makes good commercial sense.”

Recent research carried out the organisation amongst 880 local businesses found that 73% of people who work within the borough have a journey to work time of 20 minutes or less. More than 2,300 small and medium-sized businesses are started up in Colchester every year.