Mobile Phone Month

In Corporate Etiquette, featured, Technology Etiquette, Workplace Etiquette by treska roden

Mobile phone month is in July. Mobile phones are a part of our outfit, just like shoes or a jacket.

And the simple fact that we carry a mobile phone doesn’t entitle us to disturb others with our conversations or the ringing tone, especially at restaurants, theatres, churches or other quiet places.

They can be a good source of gossip, especially when we hear business conversations from our competitors. Smartphones are expanding our access to traditional in person transactions or those previously reserved for our desktop.

Maintaining control and security over our personal data should be a top priority. Access to our phones must be strictly controlled, and that includes what people see, particularly in the area of bank and credit card information that can expose you to risk of great loss.

At the dining table there should be no phones.

If you must have your phone at the table, set it to silent mode and keep it out of sight. For instance, you choose to attend a dinner party, but are expecting an important call.  Let your host know that you may have to step away for a moment to take a call.  When you feel the vibrating phone in your pocket or jacket, excuse yourself and leave the table. It is also important to note: if you are hosting a meal, you have a right to kindly ask that your guests not use phones during their time at your table.

Sometimes a smartphone is used to look up a question or check on a sports score. However, we need to tread carefully when it comes to allowing a phone at the table.  While it can contribute to dinner conversation, a phone can also cause huge distractions with its message dings and social media alerts.

The following is a list of mobile phone do’s and don’t’s

  1. The people you are with are more important than your mobile phone.  If you take a call in front of friends or clients you are really saying that the call is more important than they are.
  2. Do not take or make a call while dining with other people.  Often in a café or restaurant you can see everyone at the table talking on their mobile phone.
  3. Do not let your phone ring while in a meeting.  If you are waiting on an extremely important call and you need to be at a meeting, let the people you are with know you are expecting an important call.  Then when you receive the call, step outside, be a quick as possible, return to your friends or the meeting, apologise and then turn your phone off.
  4. If you are at a seminar and are expecting a really important call, sit at the back of the room and when the call does come in, step outside, take the call, then return to the seminar as quietly as possible and switch off your phone.
  5. Do not text under the table while dining with people.  You may think this is o.k. as you are not interrupting the flow of the conversation but while you are texting you are not listening to the conversation and your mind is elsewhere.
  6. Do not make calls just to pass the time while you are in a queue such as at the bank.  This is so annoying to everyone around you.  They are in close proximity and don’t want to overhear your calls.
  7. Do not leave your mobile phone on during work hours.  Turn it over to voice mail and clear it at lunchtime or at the end of the day.
  8. Don’t yell.  The average person talks three ties louder on a mobile phone than they do in a face-to-face conversation. Always be mindful of your volume particularly when in a public place, such as public transport.  People around you do not want to hear your private conversation.
  9. Don’t make staff wait.  Whether it’s your turn in line or time to order at the table, always make yourself available to the waiter