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.