Conference calls are quickly becoming the general way of doing business with people around the world. With the advent of this service, the incidence of conference calls has shot up manifold. How to set up conference call is very simple which further adds to the popularity of conference calls.
Making contact has become easy and there is no longer any need for your physical presence every time. This is definitely a big boon, but the lack of face to face contact can make participants a little lax as well. Indeed, many people think that they can get away with doing almost anything while attending a conference call.
For instance, you may think that you can send that pending email to your subordinates while listening to the other participants as they discuss the timeline for the new project. Or maybe, finish signing the papers with one ear on the ongoing debate. Especially when you are not involved in a discussion, it is very tempting to complete pending tasks in the meanwhile.
And this is quite commonplace. According to a 2013 Meeting Behavior Survey, 92% of information workers admit to multitasking during meetings, and 41% of respondents say they do it often or all of the time.
You may be trying to save time or get more work done. Alas, neither works as you end up just wasting your own time and that of others as well. This is because you are bound to get diverted with the other work and will lose track of what people are saying on the conference call. It gets quite embarrassing when someone has to prompt you to give your input or even worse, you have to ask someone to repeat a question that was posed to you!
What’s more, the sound of typing, shuffling papers or even chewing can easily carry over the air waves and everyone will know that you are doing something else even while the call is in progress. This can distract other participants or even disrupt the ongoing proceedings. Muting the call is an option, but it often happens that you may forget to mute or later unmute the call, leading to problems galore.
So, being out of sight does not mean that you can make it out of mind as well – or even get other things on your mind. When a conference call is in progress, you should give your full attention and participate actively without getting diverted with other tasks. Even when you take notes or do something else, ensure that you do not make too much noise.
So, be it a free conference call service or a paid one, the call demands your complete concentration and consideration. Give as much attention to what is going on in the call as you would when say, learning how to set up conference call. The mails, the files and even the sandwich can wait until later…