Samsung's efforts to buttress sales of its IP telephony systems misfired last week when the firm published a survey suggesting that the British are the laggards of Europe when it comes to teleworking.
Other, more exhaustive, reports have clearly shown that the UK has higher numbers of teleworkers than many other European countries.
Samsung claimed: "[The] UK is lagging behind its European neighbours with longest commuter times and least likelihood of offering home working facility to employees."
But the vendor only asked the opinions of companies in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden - hotbeds of teleworking. Had its survey included other European countries it would have produced a very different set of results.
The Netherlands and Scandinavia have by far the most teleworkers in Europe, according to EC-funded research conducted by Statistical Indicators Benchmarking the Information Society (SIBIS). But only Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have more teleworkers than the UK.
The SIBIS report shows that the UK has roughly 50 per cent more teleworkers as a percentage of the employed population than most of the rest of Europe.
On average, seven per cent of European workers are teleworkers, while the UK boasts around 12 per cent.
Andrew Saunders, head of product marketing at Samsung Business Communications, said the survey had been limited to the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden because these were the only countries that came under the jurisdiction of his business unit. France, Germany and Italy were managed under separate divisions.
"It's not our intention to skew this survey," said Saunders, promising to reconsider the stand the firm took through its research. He said the survey was intended to encourage sales of Samsung's IP telephony equipment in the UK.
Samsung's survey did reveal some valid results within individual countries, even if their comparisons across borders were inaccurate.
Sixty per cent of UK bosses, for example, said they would disallow teleworking because they were worried about employee productivity.
Alan Denbigh, executive director of the UK's Telework Association, said (from his home office in Devon) that the late rollout of broadband communications in the UK meant that it was late taking to home working, which suggests that teleworking will become even more prevalent.
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