Be more effective – turn off the TV and collaborate


As we continue to demand better work/life balance and greater job flexibility, Maintel set out to discover the attitudes of UK workers towards flexible working.


The research has been completed, the results from 1,000 participants are in and the conclusions are obvious – most people feel able to work from home, and people are more productive when working from home.


While there’s no surprises there, I found the result that 30% of people say that the largest distraction to home working was the television intriguing.


An independent poll taken from a random sample* found the TV not to be a distraction when working from home. (*Methodology for the sample: I asked colleagues sitting near me in the office, “When you work from home, can you see the television?” To which 75% answered “no” and one said “yes – but I never turn it on”.)


The research highlighted that flexible working is such a fundamental part of our working lives that 38% of people would not take a job which didn’t allow flexible working. So why are people like Ms. Mayer of Yahoo banning execs from working from home? This approach is in stark contrast to Google, where more than a quarter of people work flexibly at least some of the time.

Interestingly, Mayer justifies the ban using the very same words we at Maintel apply to the technology we use to help multi-site companies work more productively: to improve communication and collaboration.


Whilst I am all in favour of the corridor-conference, anyone working in a large organisation will recognise that this is a flawed approach. It’s hard to build informal relationships with people who work in an office many miles away, often in a different time zone with different seasons.

In order to continue to be effective and work collaboratively we need to embrace these changes and differences, not go back to an attitude where work is a place one simply goes to – I think we all know it is what we do that counts.


This is why we use instant messaging, social media, quick phone calls and conference calls on a daily basis. We use them because they help us to be more effective – wherever we are.


Long live flexible working and encouraging everybody to use communication and collaboration tools – whether you are in the office or not!

Brian Mackow-McGuire, Data Product Manager, Maintel

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