You won't believe where employees are taking conference calls

Conference calls are a necessary part of managing an increasingly remote and mobile workforce. But how much of employees’ attention do you really have on these calls? This news isn’t going to sit well with you.

It’s hard enough to keep people’s attention when they’re sitting at their desks. But it’s going to be nearly impossible getting them to sit up and pay attention when they’re fielding your calls from these locations:

  • A truck stop bathroom
  • A McDonald’s Playplace
  • The closet of a friend’s house during a party
  • The beach
  • Behind a church during a wedding rehearsal
  • The racetrack
  • The street while chasing a dog that got loose
  • Disney World, and
  • A dressing room while trying on clothes.

Who would accept a conference call from any of those locations? Your employees, that’s who. Real employees admitted as much during a survey by InterCall, a conferencing solutions provider.
The survey of 500 U.S. professionals was designed to gauge employees’ conference call experiences and habits, and in it employees fessed up to taking calls in those locations. Pretty scary, huh?

Top things people do on the call

As if that wasn’t enough, the bad news doesn’t end there.
The survey also revealed that employees are busy multitasking — and not necessarily in productive ways — while taking conference calls.
Here are the top 10 things employees admitted to doing whilst listening (or at least attempting to listen) to what’s happening on the call:

  1. Doing other work — 65%
  2. Sending emails — 63%
  3. Eating or making food — 55%
  4. Going to the restroom — 47%
  5. Texting — 44%
  6. Checking social media — 43%
  7. Playing video games — 25%
  8. Shopping online — 21%
  9. Exercising — 9%
  10. Taking another phone call — 6%

Still, you’d rather employees do those things than what these employees admitted to:

  • Dropping off a call without announcing it — 39%
  • Falling asleep during a call — 27%
  • Having a friend take a call in my place — 5%

What’s the solution?

You likely already had some idea that it was more difficult for employees to focus during conference calls than during face-to-face meetings, but you probably didn’t imagine things were this bad.
What’s the solution, you ask? InterCall used the results of the survey as an opportunity to plug their United Meeting software, which incorporate audio, Web and video features into one conferencing tool.
Part of the problem with conference calling, according to a blog post by InterCall’s Jill Huselton, is that most of the time it’s a 100% audio experience.
In other words, there’s less going on to keep employees’ attention during audio-only calls and, without being able to see employees, it’s harder to keep tabs on them. Thus, video conferencing may very well be a solution.
Info: See the infographic below for additional stats from the survey (click to view full-size image).
InterCall-Mobile_Conferencing-FINALSource: InterCall