According to a recent report from the United Nations, “six billion of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones,” even though “only 4.5 billion have a toilet.” And to narrow it down, Pew Research found that as of May 2013, 91% of American adults have a cell phone and 56% have a smartphone. Those are some incredible statistics that prove how much mobile technology has impacted every aspect of life – and the workplace is not immune.
Cell phones can have many positive benefits, but they have a dark side too. Unfortunately, that dark side can quite often be seen at work, and it could affect your job more than you realize. Take a look at these cell phone don’ts to make sure you’re maintaining proper workplace etiquette and not hurting your career.
Don’t Leave the Ringer On
While you may have a good reason to keep your cell phone on you at work, there is no reason not to turn it on silent. No one wants to hear your duck-quack ringtone or a shortened version of “Call Me Maybe” multiple times a day, day-in and day-out. Plus, chances are it will go off at the most inopportune time, like when the company president is walking by.
Don’t Conference Call
If you have a conference call on your calendar, then plan to be at work, on a land line. And this is especially true if you’re the one hosting the call. It can be very distracting to all the other people on the call if they can hear loud road noise or lunch orders being yelled out in the background.
Don’t bring It to Meetings
Just because almost everyone else takes their phone with them into meetings doesn’t mean you need to. Unless you’re expecting an important call that really can’t wait, leave it at your desk. But, if you think you might need it to check your calendar for future meeting dates or to verify information online, keep it out of sight.
Don’t Text (or Call) and Drive
Most companies probably have a policy by now for rules on cell phone usage for business while you’re driving, and most likely it will err on the side of safety. It’s always a good idea, though, to not use your phone at all while driving, whether you’re in your own car or a company car. Should an accident happen due to you being distracted, your employer and even your job could be negatively impacted.
When In Doubt, Don’t Use It At All
Common sense is always a good thing to use, and it applies to your cell phone usage at work too. Remember why you’re there and focus on getting the job done. And if you find yourself in a situation where you feel even slightly uncomfortable about being on your phone, it’s always a good call to just put it away.
What are some other good guidelines for cell phone usage at work? Let us know how you handle your cell phone while at work by sharing in the comments section.