Aussies reveal embarrassing moments in remote meetings, teleconference

Conference calling from the bathroom may not longer be the best of ideas

Australian works may want to pay more attention the next time they find themselves in a boring conference call or web meeting.

According to a recent survey, one in three Australian workers have done something embarrassing or have had something embarrassing happen while participating in a remote meeting.

The survey, conducted by teleconferencing and emarketing company Premiere Global (PGi), interviewed 1,000 full-time workers to find out how they spent time during remote meetings.

Of those surveyed, 88 per cent admitted to multi-tasking during conference calls or web meetings. Forty per cent like to work on another task or check emails, while a third do something unrelated to work like watching television or checking social networking sites.

According to the survey, 15 per cent of Australian workers are "happy to eat [their] way through" remote meetings.

This tendency has led to a number of embarrassing moments for workers, including yawning while on the phone. One worker had a personal email arrive while the boss stood behind them on a web conference.

The calls aren't restricted to the office either; the survey found that many participated in remote meetings while at the pub, in the supermarket or in the bathroom. Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed have used audio or web conferencing at home.

Joanne Rigby, marketing director at PGi, points to a number of ways Australians can avoid embarrassing moments in such meetings.

“Simple things such as muting your phone or minimising your email and instant messaging pop-ups will help you to have a more professional meeting, and hopefully one that’s blooper-free too," Rigby said in a statement.

Rigby said that workers should stay engaged, be organised, have face to face meetings via webcam, and should cut out external distractions where possible in order to minimise interruptions.

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