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Britons urged to shun office and work outdoors
June 21, 2007 / 4:21 PM / 10 years ago

Britons urged to shun office and work outdoors

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - To celebrate the midsummer weather why not ditch the office and finish off the afternoon’s work from a tree house?

<p>A woman relaxes in the sun by the river Thames in London with the Canary Wharf business district behind, in this file photo from May 22, 2007. A unit of software maker Microsoft launched a campaign on Thursday to encourage mobile working by erecting a "tree-office" in Pimlico Gardens on the banks of the River Thames. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>

A unit of software maker Microsoft launched a campaign on Thursday to encourage mobile working by erecting a “tree-office” in Pimlico Gardens on the banks of the River Thames in London.

“We’re trying to illustrate the fact that there are more creative ways for people to work these days. A tree house is one, slightly wacky example”, James McCarthy of Microsoft Windows Mobile said.

Working with research conducted by The Future Laboratory, a London based trends-tracking organization, Microsoft said it aims to show that the technology is now available to allow people to leave the office and work in a way that suits them.

Future Laboratory’s research showed that 73 percent of people considered the ability to work flexibly a deciding factor when choosing a new job.

The research showed that 91 percent of workers would like to get out of the traditional office environment.

After home, 14 percent of British workers claimed their favorite place to work from would be the beach, and 10 percent would love to work from a park or their garden.

“Mobile workers have more variety in their work and greater flexibility,” said Tom Stewart, a psychologist and expert on people and technology. “They are happy and motivated, making them more productive and efficient.”

Kim Seaton, an events manager who lives in Brighton but works in London said mobile working through the use of an internet enabled mobile phone, and wireless internet on her laptop had transformed her daily commute.

“It’s no longer three hours of dead time.”

Claire Smyth, an audience marketing worker for Microsoft said mobile working allowed her to return to full time work after the birth of her daughter, but also be a full time mum.

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