Cell Phone Etiquette in the Office

Have you ever been interrupted or disturbed by a co-worker using a cell phone in the office? You might even be the perpetrator and not know it. If your employer has a no cell phone policy, make sure to follow their rules. But if you’re allowed to carry yours with you, here are four tips for cell phone etiquette to keep disruptions to a minimum and keep peace in the office.

Use silent or vibrate mode – In an office environment where you are in close quarters with co-workers, the simple ringing of a cell phone can break your concentration or disrupt others. Turn your ringer on silent, or use the vibrate mode if you’re expecting a call. Or, simply turn your cell phone off altogether. Callers can leave a voicemail, and you can return your personal phone calls on your break, during lunch, or after work instead of during company time.

Keep talk quiet – If you do take a personal call on your cell phone while in the office, keep your voice down. Most people don’t want to hear the conversation you’re having with your sweetheart or your doctor, so be considerate of others. Better yet, take your conversation down the hall to an empty conference room, or step outside to talk.

Don’t talk in the bathroom – Cell phones and restrooms don’t mix. Period. No one in the bathroom wants to hear your conversation, and the person on the receiving end of your call doesn’t want to hear toilets flushing and running water, either. End the conversation before you go into the restroom, or return the phone call later.

Avoid using your phone during meetings – During a meeting, don’t answer your phone, text your friends, or check your e-mail. Otherwise, you’ll appear distracted, bored, and unprofessional. If you’re texting or e-mailing someone for important information pertaining to the meeting, let others know what you’re doing so they don’t think you’re being disrespectful. The best thing to do is leave your cell phone at your desk, and be sure to turn the ringer off.

Cell phones give us easy access to others, and vice versa, but at work they can be a tempting distraction for ourselves and interrupt others. Follow these cell phone etiquette tips the next time you take your phone to work so you won’t be the one committing a cell phone faux pas in the office.

Comments

  1. Erik

    Vigorously seconded on the use of cellphones in bathrooms, it is in extremely poor taste. However, I think leaving your phone at your desk rather than take it meetings should be done only in extreme cases of email-checker-itis. I find having my email with me can make me less distracted because I’m not looking at the clock and wondering when the meeting will be done so I can, you know, get back to productive work.

  2. Shannon

    Thanks for your opinion, Erik. I agree – you definitely have to use your own judgment on whether or not to take your phone with you, but for most of us it’s usually best to leave it at our desks.

  3. Mark McClure Coaching

    Commuters riding the trains in Tokyo regularly hear announcements reminding them to turn the phone off or use manner mode.
    Most folks seem to follow that.
    In the world of multinational foreign corps in Japan that I know of, answering mobile phones in open plan offices (usually half height cube farms) is generally frowned upon and most people go out into the nearest corridor or private room to take an urgent call.
    As far as taking phones to meetings…I guess it depends on the job function. For IT staffers in the operational front lines it is pretty much mandatory to have a phone with you because when major computer trouble brews, escalation procedures normally see a large group of impacted IT people get alerts to join a multi-party conference call.
    Now that is a subject for a whole different post!!
    regards

  4. Cellular phones for sale

    Well, I definitely agree with you there, these cell phone etiquette is really need to keep disruptions to a minimum and keep peace in the office. I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing this post. -seff-

  5. mobile phones with free gifts

    mobile phones with free gifts

    Most people make the mistake of going direct to a UK network for the next mobile phone… not knowing that there are incentives available from household names such as Tesco. These include Laptops, HDTV’s, Wii’s, Playstations, Tom Toms and much more.

  6. electronics fan

    I find having my email with me can make me less distracted because I’m not looking at the clock and wondering when the meeting will be done so I can, you know, get back to productive work.I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense.

  7. Anonymous

    What I hate is when I’m asking a co-worker a work question and they blow me off to answer a personal cell call. Epitome of rudeness.

  8. reverse cell phone lookup

    Really, when it comes down to it, all of these simple guidelines outlined in the post are nothing more than common courtesy. I try to take note of what offends me as rude and not repeat the same behavior myself. I never treat a phone call as more important than the person I have sitting or standing right in front of me – and that has served me well.

  9. Sarah

    it can be very annoying when people just let their phone ring without caring about what their coworkers think about the obnoxious behavior

  10. Charles Owens

    I hate my coworker. He constantly talks on the phone and it drives me crazy. I should link this post to him but I don’t want to come out too forward. Maybe I’ll just have it on my screen when he comes by. Maybe he will see it that way.

  11. Jared Cole

    If co-workers are being disruptive with their cell phones, consider a direct, honest, but respectful approach with them. You might cause more problems with such a passive action like you suggested. Use your best judgement when trying to solve the issue. Thanks for the feedback!

  12. Debra Surenossa

    All i can say about this website is awesome thanks man i believe you reach your goal thanks for this site, thanks!!!

  13. Dre

    I find having my email with me can make me less distracted because I’m not looking at the clock and wondering when the meeting will be done so I can, you know, get back to productive work.I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense.

  14. Amen

    I say amen, now how to handle those who have no pockets and are using thier bra as a pocket and dig thier cell phone out during a meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *