Electronic Device Etiquette In Business

We are tethered to our mobile devices. Carrying them with us wherever we go. Sometimes, without even consciously thinking about it, I will respond to a notification or message when I should not. Are there times that we should set our phones on silent, and resist the urge to check our device every five minutes? Absolutely. Marc Sparks, an entrepreneur with 40 years experience, has written a blog that lays out exactly when to leave your phone in your pocket.

His advice is to never answer a call or message during a job interview. If you do, it sends a clear message to the person conducting the interview, that your phone is more important than the prospect of being hired. Common sense dictates that if someone is giving you their undivided attention, it should be reciprocated. I was surprised to read that people actually do this. Apparently, it is more common than I thought. Sure I carry my mobile device everywhere with me, but I would never tell my boss to hold on a second so I could quickly respond to a friends text. If I did it during an interview, and it was abruptly stopped, I would have no one to blame but myself.

Another distraction is allowing laptops in a meeting. Sparks says that it blocks a person’s body language, allowing them to basically hide behind their computer screen. Add in mapping of keys, constant mouse clicks, and no eye contact, it is a recipe for disaster. I totally agree with Sparks about note takers in business meetings. They are so busy keeping track of what has been said, that they rarely contribute anything relevant to the topic at hand. Always one step behind in the conversation. Each person is invited to a meeting to contribute, not for endless tappings on a keyboard. I have witnessed this on a few occasions. It is very irritating, to say the least.

There are many times when we are expected to give people our total concentration, devoid of any diversions. We want others to pay complete attention to us. It is a form of respect. This blog does a great job of explaining why, in the business world, we should unplug from our constant flow of electronic information.

Source: Marc Sparks Blog