A Survey of Secondary Activities of Telephone Callers Who Are Put on Hold Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper examines the results of a study conducted to determine what types of secondary activities callers engage in when they are placed on hold in a telephone call setting. One hundred and one participants were surveyed in order to determine if they performed secondary tasks while on hold, and if so, the types of activities engaged in and the relative amount of time they spent on those activities. Results showed that 79% of callers engaged in some form of secondary activity while on hold. These activities were diverse, with the majority of participants reporting 8 different types of secondary activities. The data from this study will help researchers and IVR designers understand the types of secondary tasks in which callers engage and allow them to design on-hold stimuli that support multi-tasking and enable them to more accurately construct experiments to reflect real world conditions.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kortum, P., & Peres, S. C.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • October 2007