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.