Know your workplace’s device etiquette

Know your workplace’s device etiquette

Mobile Manners: The Appropriate Use of Mobile Devices in the Workplace

Exercising proper etiquette with your mobile phone or device in the workplace can have an impact on your professional image so it’s important to practice good mobile manners. Here are a few tips to think about when using your cell phone or device at work:

Don’t allow your device to divide your attention

If you are having a conversation with another person, either in person or on another phone line, do not interrupt the conversation to check or respond to another call or message. This indicates to the other person that your conversation with them is not interesting or valuable enough for you to give it your undivided attention.

Silence your device and put it away during meetings

Put your phone or device in a pocket, bag or briefcase during meetings and do not check it until there’s a break or the meeting is over. Do not put it on the table or respond to it during the meeting—and do not read or respond to emails or texts under the table during a meeting in the hope that nobody will notice (everyone knows what you’re doing)! Paying attention to your device instead of the meeting is discourteous and sends a message to the other people in the room that they and/or the information being discussed is not important to you. This can be especially detrimental to you professionally if the others in the room have any influence over your career.

In the company of others, respond to urgent messages only

If you are expecting an urgent message that requires your attention, let those you are speaking with—either individually or in a meeting—know in advance that you are expecting an urgent message and must take it when it arrives. When you receive the message or call, politely excuse yourself and step out of the room to respond.

Have telephone conversations in private spaces

Having to listen to somebody talking loudly on a cell phone is distracting to others who are trying to focus on other tasks. Have your conversation quietly and in a private space: at your desk, in an office or empty room, or in a hallway.

Make sure your device is appropriate for the workplace

If your mobile device will be seen or heard in the workplace, it should be appropriate for the environment. Your case or cover, background image and ring tone should all be neutral. Offensive or immature device elements can be detrimental to your professional image.

Turn your mobile device to “silent mode” while in a cubicle

A ringing phone can be distracting to coworkers, particularly if your phone rings and rings and rings while you’re away from your desk. If you must step away from your desk and leave your device behind, set your device on silent mode and let it go to voicemail while you’re gone.

Do not use your cellphone in a restroom

Speaking to somebody from a restroom cubicle is discourteous. In addition, you never know who might be within listening range so your conversation is not private.


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