August 19, 2011, 2:08 PM — I was researching another topic when I stumbled upon a May survey on mobile video in the workplace.
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive for Qumu, a seller of enterprise video management platforms. Buried in the results was a question about people feeling compelled to "sneak a peak" at their mobile devices during work meetings.
First, 63% of online Americans polled said they believe that, during work meetings, employees will surreptitiously sneak a glance at their mobile device.
But here's the hidden gold in the survey. Asked what their favorite methods were to sneak a peek at their handheld -- oops, I mean, the favored methods that online Americans believe others use to look at their mobile devices during office meetings -- this is how respondents replied:
47% - Hide their mobile device under the table
42% - Excuse themselves to go to the restroom
35% - Hide their mobile device in their folders/notebooks/papers
9% - Pretend to tie their shoes
8% - Create a distraction
I'm not sure what's more desperate: Running to the bathroom to look at your mobile device or "creating a distraction." What exactly are the "distraction" options in an office meeting? One hopes pulling the fire alarm isn't on the short list. Perhaps a food fight. Or, "Hey, look, it's a leprechaun!"
Fortunately, some 37% of online Americans remain grounded in reality because they see "peeking" as entirely unnecessary during work meetings. They will -- that is, they think other people will -- gaze at their mobile devices with impunity.