Conference calls ay? There’s no one on earth who likes dialling in, reading an access number the length of a nuclear armament code buried four hundred and eighty-six emails back, and finding they don’t know how to get off mute. The amount of times I’ve been on a call with people who I can’t hear, or who because of unfamiliarity and the telephone lines, all sound the same, or who haven’t got the same copy of whatever it is we’re all meant to be looking at, are not worth counting.
Compared to an actual meeting where people sit around and look at one another, a virtual meeting is never as effective. Body language can’t be used for cues, tone can be harder to recognise when it’s been pressed through 3000 miles airspace, and things are generally much harder to co-ordinate. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work – they do, that’s why we do them.
For the moment at least, there’s no clear alternative, but I’m sure that one day we’ll look back and scoff at those times when halfway through a detailed outline the heartless words ‘now leaving the call…’ were followed by the names of the people you were speaking to, only for them to rejoin moments later as if they’d been turned off and on like a robot and had their memories wiped.
Summing this all up, Tripp and Tyler, below: