What people really do during conference calls

One style expert says to bring two different sizes of each item into the dressing room. Also, shop with a list. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — If you’re reading this while on a conference call, it appears you’re not alone. A new survey found many people don’t shy away from multi-tasking while on a conference call.

Conference call company, InterCall, surveyed more than 500 outside, full-time employees and found that while mobile conferencing can be a convenient option, 82 percent work on unrelated items at the same time.

Many of the respondents said they turned to the computer during mobile conference calls:

  • 65 percent said they did other work at the same time;
  • 63 percent said they send email;
  • 43 percent check social media;
  • 21 percent said they shop online.

Fifty-five percent chow down or make food during conference calls, and 47 percent said they go to the bathroom during conference calls. Also, 44 percent said they spent the time texting.

Conference call time meant nap time for 27 percent who said they have fallen asleep during the mobile meetings.

Mobile conference calls are becoming a growing trend in many industries. Total mobile conferencing minutes were up 21 percent from 2011 to 2012 and an additional 17 percent from 2012 to 2013, the survey found.

“What we found was that mobile conferencing is certainly a growing trend and employees are taking full advantage of workplace mobility, sometimes in very unique places,” InterCall said in a release.

InterCall highlighted some of the more “unique” places the respondents said they’ve taken a conference call:

  • A truck stop bathroom;
  • McDonald’s Playplace;
  • The closet of a friend’s house during a party;
  • The beach;
  • Behind a church during a wedding rehearsal;
  • The racetrack;
  • Chasing a runaway dog down the street;
  • Disney World;
  • Fitting room while trying on clothes.

InterCall, which released its survey Tuesday, did not provide information about the sample or the margin of error with its survey.

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