Multi-tasking Order of the Day on Conference Calls

December 17, 2004 ( - Just because you're dialed in for a conference call doesn't mean you have to give it your undivided attention, at least according to the reported behaviors of call participants.

A recent survey commissioned by Raindance Communications Inc. found that nearly all (90%) multi-task while listening in.

Most work on job-related (though conference call UN related) projects (70%), while about half read and write e-mails. More than two-thirds (69%) spend time “looking for the materials being discussed in the meeting.”

However, about 37% spend the time eating, 36% mute the call and talk to someone else, and 27% surf the Internet. One percent actually admitted to napping.

The survey found that 88% of respondents feel that preparing for and traveling to meetings often takes more time and effort than the meetings are worth. A full 81% said they’d be less likely to drift into other worlds on video-conferencing calls – a finding no doubt of great solace to Raindance, which is a maker of audio- and video-conferencing technology.