Conference Calls Deserve Meeting Etiquette Too

More than one-third (37%) of workers surveyed by OfficeTeam said multiple people talking at the same time is the most annoying or distracting behavior on conference calls.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) selected ‘excessive background noise.’

Other annoying behaviors identified included:

  • Attendees not paying attention – 9%;
  • Attendees putting the call on hold (and prompting hold music) – 7%; and
  • Attendees thinking they are talking when they are on mute – 7%.

“It’s tempting to let your guard down on conference calls because participants can’t see you, but basic meeting rules still apply,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.

OfficeTeam came up with five types of conference call etiquette offenders:

  • The Late Arriver disrupts the flow when he or she joins after the call has already kicked off.
  • The Noisemaker causes a commotion with loud typing, a barking dog or other sounds that can be heard in the background.
  • The Multitasker is too busy eating, checking email or reading a report to pay attention to the discussion at hand.
  • The Tech Transgressor is prone to technology faux pas, whether it’s misusing phone access codes or a headset, or accidentally prompting music by putting the line on hold.
  • The Scene-Stealer is known to interrupt or monopolize discussions.