Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

Posts Tagged ‘Snow

Precipitating Disaster

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The UK Technology Journalists and PR Facebook group (@UKTJPR for the twits amongst you) asked the snowbound media world a simple question: Do you prefer working at home or in the office. Well, the dimpled chads have been recounted and the results show that 38% of us prefer working at home, 21% don’t and 40% like it sometimes. MORI researchers are sleeping safely in their beds, I’m sure.

What struck me about this poll, however, was the one-in-five people (like myself) who would much rather work in an office environment. The reason for this is blindingly obvious to anyone with children – trying to work with the strains of MarioKart drifting upstairs, or writing a whitepaper in the midst of an argument about lost library books, is the sort of test that should be reserved for cosmonauts and applicants for a double-O number.

Frankly, even on the most stressful of workdays, going to the office is like a holiday – it gives me focus, allows me to socialise with people who don’t need help going to the toilet and allows me to differentiate between professional and personal.

You can imagine that with two days off school (soon to be three) and a faulty train network, the Berry household is approaching something akin to Lord of the Flies.

During an enforced wii cold turkey session this afternoon, William (for he is five years old) struck up a very odd conversation with my seven-year old Henry. The topic of discussion was our new daughter Elizabeth. “Do you think Elizabeth will get fat?” asked William. “Maybe,” replies Henry “But she might also die in a road accident or during childbirth.” Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued – mostly from Mrs Me.

I only hope that in between building snowmen, watching daytime TV and making sense of the insane ramblings of their own school-starved children, the magnificent employees of Southern Railways can get back to work, clear the lines and make it possible for me to return to sanity.

Elizabeth, put down that WD40…

Tom B


Written by pilotlight

04/02/2009 at 9:41 am

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There’s snow business like Tech PR

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London under snow

I have officially succumbed to the snow.

Who would have thought that a little bit of snow could cause the severe disruptions of this frightfully cold Monday? I woke up this morning to a plethora of white stretching for as far as I could see. This took me back to my childhood memories of my local radio station announcing the school closures. A rush to the garage and there you would find me, dusting off my pink sleigh and setting off down the rolling hills of Hindhead.

Today, I was not so lucky. Having spent a gruelling 20 minutes attempting to get my car out of the car park, which resulted in severe wheel spinning and my car getting engulfed in a cloud of snow, I resigned to the fact that I would in fact have to work from home. Great, I thought: the perfect opportunity for me to practice what we preach. Being a Web 2.0 agency and advocates of flexible working practices, I opened my laptop and checked my email. Instead of cancelling meetings because of a bit of bad weather, why not set up a video conference? Ah, the wonders of technology. This did of course mean I have now had to pull myself from the warmth of my bed to make myself look half decent for people I am likely to never meet. As it so happened though, fortunately or unfortunately, my journalist colleagues did not seem so keen on this idea, it seemed ‘too complicated’ – oh well, onwards and upwards as they say.

The damning fact is this: no matter how much we strive for a day away from the office, technology has meant that we are always accessible to our peers and hence, a culture devoted to our jobs. Is this a blessing, a time when people, across continents can be brought together to exchange thoughts and ideas which, years ago would have been a scene in a movie? We should welcome and accept the flexibility that has made the lives of those unable to get into work on a daily basis so much simpler. I think of my colleagues who have young children, kids who may have never seen snow like today and am happy that they get to spend today together; all be it amongst responding to emails and receiving phone calls. Yes, a play in the snow would be fun, but losing out on a day’s work – well then that’s twice as much to do tomorrow. Instead I think we should be balancing the two, and to that end, I am now off to build a snowman.


Written by pilotlight

03/02/2009 at 9:27 am

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