Emily Post, the famed 20th Century etiquette guru once said, “Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”
While Post might not have seen cellphones, tablets or laptops coming, these handy-dandy technologies can pose etiquette problems in the workplace (and at lunch with friends and at home with your families – but we’re just going to focus on the workplace for now).
A survey from Robert Half Technology of over 2,300 chief information officers (CIOs) around the country found that 64% of CIOs said the increased use of mobile devices has led to more workplace rudeness over the last three years. That percentage has grown from 51% in 2010.
These technologies can help with productivity, but also serve as major distractions in meetings and face-to-face conversations.
Robert Half Technology offers four suggestions to avoid breaching etiquette at work:
Don’t surf while talking. It’s just rude to check your email or be on the Internet while in the midst of a conversation with someone.
Keep voicemails concise. Get to the point, already.
Make smart communication choices. Use the available technology to your advantage: Need a quick answer on something? Try an email, text or instant message. Just make sure to pick up the phone or walk down the hallway if you’ve got a long request or need to have a difficult conversation.
Avoid intense multitasking. Be present wherever you are. Tablets and laptops can make meetings more effective and efficient, but surfing the web or Tweeting during meetings is just a distraction for you and everyone else involved.
One more thing: the Emily Post Institute has a whole section on business etiquette, as well as a guide, “Manners in a Digital World, Living Well Online.” Check them out when you’ve got some free time at http://www.emilypost.com/.
Author: Charlee Beasor, Indiana Chamber of Commerce
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).