Game of Thrones fans may have to wait ‘til April to find out what’s next for the Houses of Lannister, Stark, Targaryen et al, but too many office employees are finding themselves embroiled in their own medieval communications drama as we speak.
Workfront has tackled the most common office pitfalls when it comes to communications, with a clever infographic detailing general office attitudes to commonly witnessed behaviors. Entitled “Game of Phones,” the enterprise work management company calls out the “seven houses” of the workplace: multitasking, awkwardness, carelessness, courtesy, over-calling, non-communication and obliviousness.
According to the research, these not-so-worthy lineages are vying for dominance in a world locked in a constant struggle between poor manners and decency. And absent the use of grounding communications management services through the use of things like conferencing with HD voice, the battle appears to be epic.
Take the House of Multitasking for example, whose motto, according to Workfront, is “rudeness through distraction.” Who among us has not experienced the dismal behavior of a colleague (or worse, a boss or customer) texting and calling his or her way through a meeting, all under the guise of “getting more done?” What say you? We say it’s the height of rudeness. And at least 50 percent of workers in Workfront’s survey agree.
Then there’s Awkwardness. In the halls of this great house, inappropriate calling behavior is rife: 75 percent of workers admit to talking on their mobile phone while using the bathroom. House of awkwardness? Try house of “Ewwwww.”
The list goes on. Those dwelling in the not-so-fair halls of Carelessness tend to take every single call on speakerphone—no matter who’s in the room or whether said call is being conducted from a shared cubicle. Fortunately, 35 percent of the survey respondents consider loud calls like this rude. But that leaves another 65 percent that don’t.
As for the aspirational House of Courtesy, it is here that we find considerate commonality: workers who keep their phones on vibrate and retreat to private spaces to use them. That said, 24 percent of employees spend—wait for it—at least one hour per day on the phone at work for personal reasons. Tywin Lannister would never stand for it. Actually he’d probably have you assassinated for it. Quietly. Through underground channels.
In the House of Non-Communication, the motto is, “No, you go ahead”—since every call is of poor quality and laggy thanks to the disconnect between office phones and mobiles. But even worse, in the House of Overcalling, the motto is “fear my call.”
“No one is safe from the unending barrage of calls from the phone zealots of this house,” Workfront noted of the latter. “Not even the neighbor in the next-door cubicle.”
And finally, on the shores of the “Discourte-Sea,” the House of Obliviousness stands tall. In it, everyone speaks three times louder than usual when talking on a cell phone.
With all of these foibles running as rampant as Wildlings in a spring thaw around the office, conference call services can play an important role in upping the decency quotient. By enabling telecommuting, managed HD voice for both mobile and landline calls, and, perhaps best of all, defining clear parameters for when and where to have conversations and by which method (an HD headset springs to mind), many of these common pitfalls can be avoided. Also, unified communications reporting can tackle issues like making personal calls from the office. Savvy applications of these and other voice-based boons can make all the difference—and eliminate much of the fire-and-ice drama from the workplace.
Edited by Maurice Nagle