Working an office job means, inevitably, meetings. However, since I work partially remotely, meeting in person in the office is not always an option. Conference calls and phone meetings have become the answer to that.
I like doing conference calls because it gives me more flexibility in scheduling meetings. I don't have to limit them to the two days each week I'm in the office. And since I have a home office completely separate from the rest of the house, I don't worry about not being able to hear the other person or getting distracted. Really, there have been a few instances in which meetings in the office have presented more challenges than phone meetings! Of course, the fact that I can refill my coffee and doodle without anyone seeing it is just a bonus.
That's not to say that conference calls from home are easy. They require just as much preparation and attention as any meeting. Sometimes more so since listening to someone on the phone is not the same as sitting across from them at a conference table.
The key with conference calls from home is to treat them the same in your schedule as a face-to-face meeting. Take notes, don't try to multi-task on another project, and do what you need to in order to get everything from the meeting that you need to move forward with the project.
Do you have conference calls or phone meetings? Do you find them more or less effective than face-to-face meetings?