Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Listening on the road

Listening on the road

American Merchant Marine at War,
Loose lips might sink ships poster because somebody talked! poster
Loose lips might sink ships
Artist: Essarge
Dimensions: 28 x 21.5 inches
This poster is published by the House of Seagram as part of its contribution to the national victory effort
Published New York : Seagram-Distillers Corp.
because somebody talked!
Artist: Wesley, 1944
Dimensions: 28 x 20 inches
[Washington, D.C.] : U. S. Government Printing Office :
Office of War Information: 1944--O-579038"
Posted by: | LONDON
Working habits

BUSINESS travellers are nosy, it seems—and the Brits are worse than the Americans. Regus, a provider of office spaces, asked 1,000 professionals on both sides of the Atlantic about their working habits when travelling. To no great surprise, it found that many have no qualms about eavesdropping, while the absence of an office often forces them to work in undignified surroundings. The figures suggest there's an awful lot of foolish chattering going on, reminding me of those second-world-war posters about "careless talk".

The survey found that:

• 67% of Brits travelling with work have eavesdropped on someone else's business conversation, versus 59% of American professionals
• 35% of travelling British professionals have caught sight of sensitive company documents, along with 34% of Americans
• 13% of British professionals have been able to use the information they have overheard in public versus 19% of American mobile professionals
When they’re not busy overhearing things they shouldn’t, British travellers end up working in some bizarre environments:
• 16% have worked from toilets and public bathrooms
• 51% have worked from bars or pubs... (57% of men opposed to 42% of women)
• 46% have worked from shopping centres
• 12% have worked from a gym

For the record, Gulliver eavesdrops readily enough: if someone is nattering into their phone or to a colleague in a public space, then their conversation is open to all listeners. Especially if it's disrupting what would otherwise be a peaceful train ride.

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