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Conference Calls: A Great Opportunity to Ignore Your Meeting, Says Survey

You wouldn't likely shop online for new shoes or look up baseball stats at a meeting held in your office, but what about on a conference call? The cloak of invisibly is powerful freedom, confirms Intercall, the world's largest international conference call company. In a recent survey of its users, the meeting facilitator found that 60% of conference call participants are doing other work while phoning in: 55% are eating or making or making food, 47% percent are going to the restroom (!), and 43% are checking social media. 

To be sure, the conference call represents an overall positive trend: the democratization of decision making that allows employees to determine their own destiny. 

"When routine-based assembly-line work dominated the economy, important decisions were made by a small group of executives and delegated down to the drones. Today, the decision-making process at many large corporations is diffuse and democratized, so that many lower- and mid-level employees have responsibilities that would have seemed absurd at old companies."

While meetings are certainly necessary for a healthy and functioning company, it is easy for managers to fall into the trap of scheduling too many. As Intercall's vice-president has said, it becomes easy to confuse activity with productivity when individual work time is sacrificed for group interaction. 

In his Big Think interview, Jason Fried discusses how his business economizes group interaction in order to prioritize the work of the individual employee:

Read more at the Atlantic

Photo credit: Shutterstock 

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