commuting essentials – your top 3?

Katie Moffat (aka dropped me and fellow colocator- Wadds – a line this week to ask about the three most essential tools for long commutes/home working.

It got me thinking as Wadds and I have been discussing the things you need two of and the stuff you have to cart around just to make travelling more bearable.

My top 3 essentials for a long commute (excluding laptop) would be:

– Dongle (service varies, check the coverage maps, especially if you are travelling out to the sticks like I am)

– Decent mobile device (phone/blackberry/games and ipod/touch or combined as you’ll need tunes, podcasts etc to while away those hours

– Memory stick plus avid use of gmail (I am a nightmare for being in the wrong place with the wrong file)

I think as time goes on, services like Huddle will become essentials for the remote worker/colocator as it combines document storage with social networking and will soon include IM and teleconferencing….I see these tools eventually becoming the long espoused “virtual office” that you can dip into at any time.

Anyone else like to share their top 3?

getting to the point

The subtitle of this blog is PR: Family Life: Having it all: Having a ball and as yet, I have failed miserably to write about much of it…

So, after four months of random posts, I am sitting down tonight to finish a post on the topic I originally intended this blog to be about (before I got sidetracked writing about other stuff)

Making flexible working actually work…

As a woman, a mum and someone passionate about what they do (PR if you haven’t figured it out yet or are new to this site), I am always keen to fly the flag for the intelligent, passionate and hard working people that all have the following in common…those who want:

a) a career

b )a family

c) a life outside of a major city

d) a permanent job

So answer me this. Why is it so many PR agencies are so backwards in their approach to letting staff work flexibly, for example part time or from home or adopting a dual location/time splitting plan?

The percentage of my friends and ex colleagues’ jaws that hit the floor when they hear that I a) work permanently for a London agency b) I spend the majority of my time working from Cornwall and c) I run a division which includes managing people, is shockingly high.

In an industry that has flogged the arse out of the work life balance issue for many years, why are we so bad at practising what we preach?

Is it a pure and simple trust issue?

Are agency bosses unsure of the skills needed to manage people remotely?

Is it the short term, knee jerk mentality that so many PR agencies have when responding to clients’ demands (“I NEED TO MEET YOU TODAY”)?

Surely it is a no brainer for agencies looking for a sustainable business model, less churn and lower overheads? Why are examples so rare then?

Or are they there and I have missed them?

I’d love to hear from anyone working in agency or who has had a flexible work request turned down….and if you have good examples of agencies offering real flexible work programmes, please also get in touch.