Ahhh yes. We have all been here, huddled around an office phone trying to participate in a conference call and not being able to hear everyone. Here is a tid bit of information that will help. Office phones with the speaker function are a half duplex. It’s more like a CB radio – only one person can talk at one time. Any background noise will cut off the line so you can’t interject or at times, even hear the call.
The fix is to one) pick up the handset, two) ask others to mute their lines when they are not talking, three) have people dial in individually and pick up their handsets and/or four) purchase a true duplex conference phone so that people can talk over each other. Polycom, Jabra and Sony all make great speaker phones!