International Conference Calls – The Best & Worst Countries of 2017

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International conference calls 2017

You can’t analyse over 100,000 international conference calls without uncovering one or two interesting statistics.

Based on international conference calls held on our conference bridge throughout the year 2017, I’ve gone ahead and visualised some of the more noteworthy statistics. Backed by some expert opinion and peppered with some constructive advice, see how your country ranks amongst our international conference call hotspots.

Minutes Delay

A conference call that commences on-time is indeed a rare thing it seems, no matter whereabouts in the world you find yourself. We typically blame delays on human nature; not all of us have our eyes fixed on the clock all day, but there are also technological shortcomings, as well as hosts selecting the wrong time to begin with! 

The host has started the conference call, but not all attendees have joined the line. This can complicate matters, particularly if the last guest to join is crucial to the success of the call. Our interactive map shows us the average wait for the last guest to join the conference call.

It would appear that the average delay can fluctuate wildly depending on your locale. The Irish are the quickest off the mark, with the last guest unimpressively joining 8 minutes late.

Whereas you had better carry a magazine with you if you plan to attend a conference call in Italy, with the last guest typically joining 15 minutes past the allocated time.

Culture is a major factor in the formation of these statistics. For example, it’s well understood the Dutch tend to prioritise punctuality while aiming for consensus with their meetings. We see that in order to achieve this consensus, they keep the number of attendees way down, and average out their delays to a respectable 9 minutes.

On the other side of things, the Italian’s lack of punctuality is often attributed to their renowned multi-tasking abilities. It would appear that the ability shift gears and change priorities at the drop of a hat detracts from one’s time-keeping skills. Delays are not to be interpreted as a mark of disrespect.

The Solution

There’s very little to be done when a person is just naturally tardy. I suggest a good kick up the rear. As for the technology, I have slightly more professional advice. The cause of most delays is fiddling about with and trying to remember dial-in numbers and PIN codes. The solution is to adopt a platform that allows for dial-out calls, this way the host will call out to each guest at the same time, saving minutes at a time.

For this feature plus many more, check out the 247meeting mobile app. With our app, all you have to do is select your guests from your phone’s contact list and dial-out like a regular call. Your guests will have nothing to blame for being late other than their own lack of punctuality. Check out our blog on the best worst excuses for delayed conference calls!

Length of Conference Calls

Once you’ve finally got everyone on the line, how concise can you be? A quick look at our interactive map and we see that the moniker of shortest conference calls goes to the Irish, with an average of 36 minutes spent on the line. On the flip-side, join a call in Hong Kong and expect to be on the line for at least 50 minutes.

Just like the delayed conference calls, we can attribute the length of the call to cultural differences. According to Erin Meyer in The Culture Map, it is customary to provide more context in Asian culture, explaining the longer call times in Hong Kong.

It’s often small, trivial things that slow us down. Check out our blog on the 6 types of people who ruin conference calls and how to deal with them. It’s crucial your meetings don’t run over the prescribed time. Your team may have a great depth of knowledge, but their patience is paper-thin! Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro tells us that:

Many experts agree that 45 minutes represents the best meeting length, making it one of the few fixed variables you can take into account. If the meeting must last longer, split it into 45 minute periods separated by substantial breaks.

Number of Participants

It’s only when it comes to the number of participants on each call that we see any form of consensus between our international conference calls. The Netherlands host the most exclusive conference calls with an average of 4 guests per call. For a more democratic approach to conference calls look to France, Germany or Italy with an average of 7 guests per call.

Sometimes we include people on conference calls out of sheer politeness. But the number of people included on your call should indicate the desired style of meeting you wish to run.

  • When decision making, try to keep numbers down. This makes it easier to form a consensus.
  • When generating ideas, it’s better to have a few more people on board.
  • Try avoid any observers on your call; everyone in attendance should be there because the meeting is relevant to them. Keep the Asch Conformity experiments in mind. It states that:

Conformity tends to increase when more people are present, but there is little change when the group size goes beyond four or five people. Conformity increases when other members of the group are of a higher social status. When people view the others in the group as more powerful, influential, or knowledgeable than themselves, they are more likely to go along with the group.

Always let your employees know that just because they were invited to a meeting, they should not feel obliged to attend. If a meeting is mandatory, let them know it’s mandatory. Your team will feel confident in the knowledge that they belong to the meeting. Check out our blog on the psychology of meetings to implement more intuitive meetings.

Further Information

If you enjoyed this article and would like a more thorough analysis of the data provided, check out our White Paper by clicking here! In this White Paper, we take a look at the literal cost of lost productivity through conference calls. The figures may astound you!



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