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Cell Phone Etiquette at Work

Posted in Suchitra's Posts, Tips and Tricks

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. The purpose is to encourage cell phone users to be extra courteous when using their phones. A great thought, however, something that is rarely practiced these days. Is it just me or don’t you wish we enjoyed cell phone courtesy every day?

Cell phones have invaded both our work and private space in a huge way. Don’t get me wrong, the cell phone is an amazing innovation and I cannot imagine how we lived not so long ago without this technology. However, I do believe there should be a line drawn on how much of your life – at both work and home – you are going to allow it to take over.

While at home, you are your own master and can deal with your phone as you please, however while at work, you should remember that it also affects your work, as well as the people you work with.

Following are some cellphone etiquette tidbits I have culled from various articles to put to practice to improve your quality of life at work.

1. Avoid checking your phone during a business meeting. If it is just a quick glance to keep track of time, make sure that’s all you limit yourself to. We all know how easily we get sucked into checking emails and text messages when that quick glance lingers.

2. Select a non-blaring ring tone and set the volume to low, or even better set it to vibrate. If you need to keep it on, please do notify your colleagues in advance you are expecting an urgent call so they understand if the session is interrupted. Also make sure to leave the room once the call comes in so everybody else does not have to stop for you to finish.

3. Do not update social networks during a business meeting, unless you have been designated to do so as part of your job description at the event.

4. Do not assume co-workers and clients like to communicate through text. Email or telephone is more professional and appropriate for office communications unless you know for sure texting is accepted as a method of choice.

5. If you need to use your cell phone while at work for a private call, make sure you go to a separate room with a closed door so everyone else is not forced to listen to your conversation. If it is a work related call, again, do maintain a 10-foot zone from anyone while talking on the phone. Trust me no one wants to hear your entire one-way conversation. Most businesses have meeting rooms – use them.

6. It is not a crime to send your phone to voicemail if you are not ready to take that call right that minute, especially if you are in a meeting. If it is extremely urgent, that person will call back again immediately at which time, you know you should pick up immediately.

7. Do not multitask by making calls while conducting other personal business. Yes, that includes taking your phone in to the bathroom with you. Cell phone speakers are way too sensitive these days and you don’t want the person at the other end listen to you doing your business in the bathroom.

8. Lastly, tell callers when you are talking or calling from a cell phone so they know to expect those unexpected call drops or disturbances.

I am sure there are many more ways in which we can be courteous in using our cell phones but these are a good way to start during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.

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Posted on by Suchitra Kamath