Human Resources magazine and the HR Bulletin daily email newsletter:
Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
Register for your FREE subscription now »
Conference calls might allow you to work from the convenience of your home, your bathroom, or even in the closet of a friend’s house during a party, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of grievances.
According to a recent survey from OfficeTeam, 37% of respondents feel the most annoying behavior encountered in such calls is when multiple people talk at the same time.
Polling more than 1,000 employees working in office environments, the survey found background noises came in second with 24% of those polled saying they were irritated the most by this factor.
This was followed by people who don’t participate in the calls with 12% of the votes.
“It’s tempting to let your guard down on conference calls because participants can’t see you, but basic meeting rules still apply,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.
ALSO READ: WATCH a conference call in real life
According to OfficeTeam, these are five of the most irritating kinds of people on conference calls and tips on how you can avoid being one of them.
The late arriver. There’s almost one in every call, disrupting the glow of the call by joining only after the discussion has started. To prevent yourself from being this person, get ready with the dial-in details ready a few minutes before the call’s start time so there won’t be any last minute panic. In the event you anticipate being late, inform the host beforehand.
The noisy one. This person typically causes a commotion either with frantic typing, barking dogs or other sounds that can be heard in the background. To avoid being this person, find a quiet location to call from and mute the line when you are not speaking. (Just remember to un-mute yourself when you are going to say something.)
The multitasker. He or she is always the one who is too busy eating or checking emails or doing something completely unrelated to pay attention to the discussion. Don’t want to be this person? Make sure you put all other work away so you can actively participate in the call.
The tech transgressor. Prone to technology faux pas, this person is likely to misuse the headset or accidentally prompt music by putting the line on hold. To not be like this, familiarise yourself with conference call systems and equipment before dialing.
The scene-stealer. Known to interrupt to monopolise calls, to some, this person might make it to the top of the “annoying list”. To avoid this, contribute your thoughts, but don’t forget to share the floor. Also, wait a beat before talking to avoid interrupting someone.