Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 10 2014

This Survey Shows How Annoying Your Smartphone Behavior Can Be

By David McMillin



We’ve all grown accustomed to living and working in a digital world. From rapidly replying to emails to reading breaking news updates to checking our calendars, it seems like there is always a reason to look at our mobile devices. However, our distracted eyeballs may be making our colleagues’ eyes roll with frustration.

I recently stumbled upon a study conducted at USC’s Marshall School of Business. The research asked 550 full-time working professionals about mobile phone use in the workplace, and the results show that many employees have issues with their colleagues and customers mobile behaviors. Here’s a look at some of the key findings:

  • Texting is a turnoff.

    76 percent of people said checking texts or emails in business meetings is unacceptable.
  • Let it go to voicemail.

    87 percent of people said answering a call was rarely or never acceptable in business meetings.
  • Men have worse manners.

    Nearly 60 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch, but only 34 percent of women felt reading texts was acceptable.

SEE ALSO: 4 Smart Strategies For Building Relationships In The Digital Age

However, mobile madness isn’t confined to formal settings. At more informal lunches, 66 percent of the study participants said writing a text message is inappropriate, and 30 percent still said taking a call is rarely or never okay.

Mobile device manufacturers are rewriting the rules of communication. However, it’s important to remember that building successful relationships with colleagues and customers relies on a powerful face-to-face connection. That doesn’t just mean having two faces in the same room while one person says, “Just one second, I have to answer this email.”

Whether you’re listening to someone’s business pitch, making your own or sitting in an afternoon meeting with the coworkers you see everyday, give them your undivided attention. The buzz from your smartphone can wait.

Looking for more tips on technology etiquette? Click here to register for a free PCMA webinar on best practices for calls, emails and text.

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