Men are more likely to be texting others during a video conference than women.
Countless studies decry the need for business meetings, with evidence they are time-wasters and reduce productivity by confusing the focus of employees.
But business meetings still take place, and some of them take place via video-conferencing. Some employees handle video-conferencing better than others. Some employees handle video-conferencing better than others.
A poll by California-based video-conferencing service Highfive asked 1,200 office workers about a variety of workday distractions, including business meetings via video conferences. Men are far more likely to be distracted during video conferences, to a fairly high degree.
Video-conferencing continues to grow, especially as economies become more global. The benefits of video-conferencing are two-fold: they reduce travel budgets because meetings between people do not need to be with everyone gathered at one site, and they are superior to voice conferencing because face-to-face communication is more direct and effective than voice conversations.
But video-conferencing does allow for some non-business behavior that face-to-face conferencing does not, and that is the point of the Highfive study.
Approximately 36 percent of men text others during video-conferences, to just 25 percent of women. More than one quarter (27 percent) of men check personal e-mails in a video-conference to 17 percent of women, and the same percentage is reported for men and women browsing the Internet when they are supposed to be involved in a video conference.
Men send approximately six texts or e-mails per meeting to four for women.
It seems men also prepare better for being distracted than women do. When a video conference is conducted on a large screen in a business conference room, 55 percent of men bring their laptops the meeting while only 33 percent of women do.
Men most often complain about the electronic connection during a video conference and get put off by frozen screens or slow conversations. Women still complain most about how they appear in a video conference.
The Highfive survey also asked whether employees ever found themselves sleeping during a video conference, and among those who answered in the affirmative, 64 percent were men.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.