The great thing about a conference call over an in-person meeting is that it provides the opportunity to do other things, right?
You can log into a conference call a minute or two late and still be present because those first few minutes are just small talk, anyway, right? Wrong. Small talk before any meeting, live or online, is critical warm-up time. This is your chance to measure the mood of your co-workers and to nurture your professional network. Use small-talk-time to learn something new about one person on the call. For example, I learned on my call today that one of my co-workers is relocating. You just never know what might come up.