Today it seems impossible to find someone who doesn’t have a cell phone of some kind. It’s also becoming impossible to find someone who’s not on their phone all the time. Your company may or may not have policies that forbid cell phones at work, so be sure you know the rules. If your company does allow you to have cell phones at work, there are some important things you need to be aware of. In a recent survey conducted by Express on smart phones versus workplace etiquette, 59% of voters said that most people are irresponsible with their smart phone use while at work. Phones can be an easy distraction, but follow these tips to help stay focused on the tasks at hand during your work day, and make sure your phone doesn’t become a distraction.
Keep it quiet. When you get to work, turn your cell phone to silent or vibrate mode. This will prevent your ringtone – however great you think it might be – from blaring across your workplace, alerting everyone that you’ve got an incoming call.
Limit your personal phone calls. If there is a reason you have to accept or make a personal phone call at work, keep it short and sweet. Don’t make too many personal calls at work because that will take time away from doing your job and might create a negative situation between you and your manager.
Excuse yourself. If you work in close proximity with your co-workers, like a cubicle, and do get a personal phone call, quietly step out to take it. Go to a quiet spot where you can possibly shut a door to keep your conversation private. Having a phone conversation could distract your co-workers and not everyone in your workplace wants or needs to hear your conversation.
Keep it tucked away. It’s not necessary to take your phone with you everywhere you go throughout your work day. Unless you are expecting an emergency phone call from someone, it is better to leave your phone in a secure place, like your desk, keys, or locker. If someone does call and you’re away, they can leave you a message and you can call them back at a later, more convenient time. By leaving your phone behind during a meeting, it won’t be a distraction to you or others if someone calls you.
Create texting ground rules, too. Different generations have different expectations, so be mindful of others’ communication preferences. Be mindful that when you’re engaged in face-to-face conversations with co-workers, it’s important to give them your full attention. Make it a rule to not text at the same time you’re speaking with them.
Be cautious about smartphone apps. Smartphones are growing in popularity, and what they are capable of doing is quite impressive. With a smartphone, you have the ability to download applications for games such as Words with Friends – a scrabble game you can play with co-workers – or for social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. However “cool” these apps might be, they can cost your employer a lot of money in lost productivity if you’re more focused on your smartphone through the day than your job. Be responsible with your time while on the job and save your smartphone fun for your free time, such as lunch, breaks, or after work.
It’s important to know about cell phone etiquette in the workplace. Always be aware of your personal phone usage and be sure that you’re getting your work completed first and foremost.