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Conference Call Services Featured Article

The Strange Behaviors of Humans on Conference Calls

August 29, 2014

Conference calls are ubiquitous in today’s workplace.  Virtually every day, in virtually every office, there’s an important call with a client, vendor or team meeting that needs to take place. Yes, conference call services and the prevalence of mobile devices allow for some liberties when it comes to where and on what device the call is made, but, what about the employees not in the office? Ever wonder what they might be doing while on that important call or what the odd noise in the background was? 

Thanks to one recent study, we now have a pretty good answer.  What employees do during a conference call may or may not amaze you, either way it’s certainly interesting.  Over 500 workers were surveyed, and following the trend of increasing use of mobile devices, 64 percent of respondents said they prefer to join a conference call from their cell phone.  With that said, let’s take a look at what people are doing while on their mobile devices.

Interestingly enough, the top response (65 percent) from employees was ‘other work.’ Along those same lines, 63 percent sent emails.   The top two are not all that eye-popping, but when one moves down the list, 55 percent of those surveyed were either making or eating food and not far behind the fourth most popular activity was going to the restroom (the No. 3 reason for using mute during a conference call per the study)—mobile devices sure do offer up additional freedom. 

Other popular responses included texting, checking social media, playing video games, online shopping, exercising and taking another call.  Although quite distracting, I would say the 40 percent of people who have pretended to stay on a call, when in fact, they are no longer present is a pretty atrocious thing to do—is that worse than the 27 percent of people who claim to have fallen asleep on a call before or the 13 percent who were caught lying about where they were taking the call?

The latter depends on where the call took place from, right? Another section of the survey asked respondents about the more odd places they have taken a conference call.  A few responses were fairly tame: in the middle of the woods on a hiking trip, the tunnel leading to New York City or at a McDonald’s PlayPlace.  Others, on the other hand included, a truck stop bathroom, Disney (News - Alert) World, the beach, a pool in Las Vegas, the racetrack and the hospital ER. Two of my personal favorites include in a closet of a friend’s house during a party, and chasing a dog down the street because they got out of the house.     

What do we owe this to; good question. A common complaint amongst employees is there are too many poorly run meetings that result in wasted time and effort.  A reputable conference call services provider can ensure high audio quality, ease of use and a bevy of options but, as for the content of the call; that’s still in the hands of management.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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