If You Check Your Phone in Meetings, This Spot Might Make You Wince

Telenor Stunt From Sweden Reminds Us How Much We're Distracted

Published On
Apr 12, 2016

Editor's Pick

What's happening on our phones when we're in a meeting? Scandinavian telecoms firm Telenor has fun with the idea in a film designed to show us how much are phones are distracting us in our work life.

In a stunt orchestrated by Swedish agency Mullen Lowe Brindfors, it sets up a fake client meeting with a real company and asks them to make an important presentation. The fake "clients" (all actors) then go about noisily putting into physical form all the hidden distractions that take place on our phones every day. Viewers will no doubt wince at some of them.

As well as more obvious interruptions -- someone reading a newspaper, opening and sealing up letters or throwing mail in the garbage -- there are some funnier physical manifestations of what happens on our phones during meetings. One guy presses his nose to the window with a sign saying "Beer after work?" and at one point a woman walks to in to ask: "Honey, can you pick up some groceries?" Someone flips through a slide show on an old-fashioned carousel and two people do a "face swap" with cards in front of their faces. At this point it's pretty obvious the game is up, and the joke is revealed.

Telenor is running the film to launch Workfulness, an initiative it's undertaking to make meetings at work more productive. It makes the point that while eight out of ten people disapprove of using phones in meetings, seven out of ten still do it.