I don’t know if this is a trend, or if this now happens at most companies. I do know that it’s annoying as h-e-double-hockey-sticks. (We run a clean blog here at The BBB.)
I’m not sure I’ve even experienced it anyplace else, so maybe it’s exclusive to my agency.
Basically, people show up to a meeting and bring their laptop. So while you sit there listening to somebody drone on, reading from the agenda or brief that’s sitting right there in front of you, while these laptop people get to answer e-mail or get work done or blog or just surf the Web.
To be fair, some of them are account executives who are taking notes on the meeting. That is probably the only acceptable use.
For the others–it’s not fair, it’s not cool, and it’s not right. Especially since I don’t know if I have “permission” to bring my work laptop with me.