business smartphone etiquette

Business smartphone etiquette

First it was just a phone. Then it became a messenging device. Now it’s a computer which (sometimes) controls your life. What is your business smartphone etiquette and when do you turn it off in social and business situations?

The answer is quite possibly ‘never’ these days, especially amongst the younger generation. It’s normal to see a group of teenagers sitting together  but all looking at their screens! But if you’re a business user of a mobile phone, do you turn it off in a meeting, or set to vibrate/silent? How do you react if somebody is in a meeting with you and keeps on glancing down at the desk where they have put their phone? And what about if you are having a drink or a meal with a client/colleague?

Being always connected means that we have to navigate these new social situations. Some people may say ‘I hope don’t mind if I keep my phone on, but I’m expecting an important call.’ Fair enough, but unless you’re a doctor or a member of the emergency services do you really need to take that call? Are you saying I’m less important?

These are the questions which always-on tech tend to raise, and they aren’t going to go away. With the advent of wearable tech – such as smartwatches – it becomes even more of a tempation to check on notifications without giving the person in front of us our undivided attention. Technology has the wonderful ability to connect us with everybody and everything, but we need to remember when it can become a barrier to connecting to the person in front of us.