I know what you're probably thinking: Who vacations in the workaholic Silicon Valley?
Yes, it is rather strange to take a relaxing getaway to the land of 24/7 mobile working and venture deal-making, but there I was, lounging by the outdoor hotel pool with a laptop-toting business traveler to the left of me and a headset-wearing business traveler to the right while the kids did handstands in the water.
We did our best to make a splash. A very sweet employee at the front desk had asked upon arrival if we planned to swim in the pool, because "it would be so nice" to see somebody use it. Apparently, the Silicon Valley is rife with working pools.
We never found Hooli, but we did see a driverless car while passing through Palo Alto. Now it's back to reality, and back to workplace blogging. Oh, where to start.
How about with a new OfficeTeam survey that reveals the modern state of the conference call?
OfficeTeam surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. employees to find out what annoys them most during conference calls. Employees' primary peeve? When too many people try to talk at once.
Nearly four in 10 employees surveyed (37%) cited talking over each other as the biggest problem with conference calls. There's no app for that yet, unfortunately.
"Excessive background noise" ranks second on the list, with nearly one-quarter (24%) of those surveyed singling out extraneous noise as their biggest conference call annoyance. It's a type of workplace feedback we do not want.
Third on the list are the conference call participants who log in, but don't pay attention. They're too busy multi-tasking behind the scenes to join the meeting. In their defense, they were paying attention until everyone started talking at once and Candy Crush called their name during the fourth PowerPoint slide. And was the conference call really necessary in the first place?
It's all downhill from there, and this fantastically funny Tripp and Tyler clip sums up everything.
In sum, be on time to conference calls, try not to interrupt, don't be noisy, become a master of the mute button, and, above all, seem interested in the conversation. With any luck, we won't get disconnected this time.