When we think about conference calling, most of us will automatically picture well-dressed business individuals holding conference calls to discuss important issues in their organisations. But conference calling benefits need not be limited to the corporate world, and when you start to think outside the box a little, it becomes obvious that there are a number of everyday life scenarios where jumping on a conference may actually be extremely useful for anyone.

Below are just five examples of uses for conference calls which you may never have thought of:

1. The Get Well Soon Conference Call

It is common knowledge that hospital visiting hours can be very restrictive and can make it extremely difficult to get everyone around the hospital bed at once. Using conference calling as a means of getting everyone together and letting someone in need know you are all there for them could mean a lot to them when they are stuck in hospital. It also means that you can keep them company for a lot longer than the allotted short slots of an hour here and there, instead they can chat to to their loved ones for hours on end with no need to fear angering any nurses.

2. The Birthday Conference Call

For those with family members spread across the globe, getting them all together for birthdays can prove impossible. So why not get the whole family on the phone at once in order to give a loved one a unique birthday phone call experience. You could even all sing a rendition of Happy Birthday together over the call. This same practice could be put to use for any celebrations.

3. The Study Session Conference Call

We have all had to endure the difficulties of being set ‘group work’ at some stage in our academic lives. It is not always easy to find a time and place which is suitable for everyone to meet up in person. Sometimes travelling to a study session just isn’t feasible. By setting up a study conference call, there is no need to meet in person. It eliminates the need to tidy the living room and play host, or to try and find a table in a crowded library. All everyone needs to do is pick up the phone and get to work. This is a great way to ensure effective teamwork, as opposed to one person ending up doing all the work as everyone was unable to meet up and do it together. Furthermore, if you record the conference call, it means if anyone feels the need to revisit a specific moment in the session, it is easy for them to do so.

4. The Group Chat Conference Call

The popularity of group chats, be it on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage appears to be on the rise. We have all been in situations where our phone is constantly pinging, and messages are being delivered by so many different people at a rate which is impossible to get a word in. Sometimes we might have an input to the conversation which we feel would be really beneficial for other members to hear, but by the time we try and reply the conversation has already moved on. Why not instead hold a conference call? This way everyone can talk together and respond to each other without the pressure to type quickly. When you think about it, conference calling really could be one of the greatest ways to network socially.

5. The Lecture Conference Call

Why should benefitting from the information delivered in a lecture be limited by our location? Why shouldn’t anyone, anywhere in the world be able to listen in on a lecture without having to leave the comfort of their homes? Conference calling lectures could be an excellent way of increasing attendees, as those who may not be able to make it due to travel or health issues would instead be able to dial-in. Members could mute their mics, or enable ‘Listen-Only’ functions on their calls in order to ensure that only the speaker can be heard.