The conference call. Potentially one of the most awkward aspects of a professional’s working life. Speaking to someone face-to-face allows for mirroring body language, however translate this into a phone call involving several participants and all hell can break loose.
A new study by Polycom has revealed some interesting facts about the way British workers talk on conference calls, with 42% of Britons ‘often’ putting on a phone voice to appear more well-spoken. Also, research by the Institute of Leadership and Management has found that a quarter of British workers find corporate jargon on a conference call to be a ‘pointless irritation’.
The following idioms are likely to infuriate those on the receiving end while on a conference call…
To ‘Action’ something: in an office environment you may often be asked to ‘action’ something rather than simply ‘do’ it.
Circle back: to catch up later; a more grandiose version of ‘follow up’ or ‘check back’.
Low hanging fruit: an easily achievable goal or target.
Conference call habits
1 in 5 have taken a call in the garden
1 in 5 have met a colleague’s pet via a video conference
19% have laughed out loud on a conference call
22% of 25-34 year olds have eaten dinner whilst on a call
The 10 most bizarre phrases used in conference calls
(and what they really mean!)
1. Touch base offline (let’s meet and talk)
2. Blue sky thinking (creative ideas free from practical constraints)
3. Drill down (to look at something in detail)
4. Thought shower (to come up with several ideas)
5. Thinking outside the box (thinking creatively and innovatively)
6. It’s on my radar (I’m aware of it)
7. Close of play (the end of the day)
8. Singing from the same hymn sheet (all in agreement)
9. Peel the onion (to examine a problem in detail)
10. To wash its own face (to justify of pay for itself)