Lavatory chats, office photo sharing and workplace chatter

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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. According to late January survey results from integrated marketing agency 11mark, 74% of men and 76% of women have reportedly used mobile phones in bathrooms. The “IT in the Toilet” study, conducted in October, found that 63% of respondents have answered a phone call, while 41% have initiated one. Twenty percent of males also said they have engaged in work-related calls from the restroom, versus 13% of females. “The writing is on the stall,” said Nicole Burdette, principal of 11mark, in a statement. “This study confirms that the last private place is no longer private. And that the "mobile-everywhere' phenomenon is flushing out a host of new opportunities for savvy communicators.” Gen Y respondents registered the heaviest IT toilet usage at 91%, but Gen Xers and baby boomers are not far behind, at 80% and 65%, respectively. The study was based on an online survey of 1,000 U.S. mobile phone users. To download the free report, visit —Tanya Meyer A LOOK INSIDE. In an effort to raise awareness about social photo-sharing site Pinterest, advertising consultant Michael Gass is offering the public inside access to ad agencies via the “Offices of Advertising Agencies” Pinterest board. The virtual clipboard, with more than 800 followers and 140 “pins,” features indoor photos of various international agencies, including Villa McLuhan in Navarre, Spain, and Suburbia Advertising in Victoria, British Columbia. “I think there's always that curiosity because agency staffs [and clients] don't get to go to a lot of offices like I do,” said Gass, who created the board in December, using pictures he took while on consulting engagements and images he found online, to encourage agencies to create their own Pinterest accounts. Gass said agencies now submit most of the photos he “pins” to the board. Becca Weigman, CEO of Dallas-based TM Advertising, said the board also lets agencies show how they're living their brands. “It's so tough to figure out what agencies are all about because every agency says the same thing. But when you walk into an [agency], you know what kind of place it is.” —James Podolny WATER-COOLER WHISPERS. According to Feb. 21 survey results from staffing and consulting company Robert Half International, 56% of workers said engaging in office politics is necessary to move up the corporate ladder. “The savviest professionals practice workplace diplomacy,” said Max Messmer, chairman-CEO of RHI, in a Feb. 22 interview on the BusinessNewsDaily website. “They remain attuned to political undercurrents, but don't allow themselves to get pulled into situations that could compromise their working relationships or reputation.” The study, conducted by an independent research company, was based on more than 400 telephone interviews with white-collar workers at least 18 years old who were employed in office settings. In a related study by RHI subsidiary the Creative Group, 63% of workers reported office gossip about their co-workers as being commonplace, down from 85% at the height of the financial crisis. Six out of 10 times, the gossip was categorized as inoffensive and lighthearted. —T.M.
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