Technology has infiltrated our everyday lives, enabling us to stay connected with the world around us. However, it’s important to remember that just because technology is everywhere doesn't mean it should be used everywhere. This is especially true in the workplace, where civility and respect are essential for maintaining a productive environment. Let’s look at some do's and don'ts of workplace civility when it comes to technology.
Focus on those in the room
It can be incredibly disrespectful to use your phone while you’re talking with someone else. Whether you’re having a one-on-one conversation or sitting in on a meeting, put your phone away so you can give the other person your full attention. Even if you're not actively using your phone during the conversation, having it out can be seen as rude and unprofessional. If you want to show that you’re being polite, keep your phone out of sight!
Enjoy the silence
Phones should be silenced during meetings and activities. Not only is this polite, but it shows respect for others. If you might be distracted by your phone, turn it off completely! That way you won’t be tempted to check for notifications every few minutes.
Cellphone and laptop use during meetings
Ideally, laptops and cell phones should not be used to take notes in a meeting. Taking notes with pen and paper prevents the appearance of distraction.
Remove headphones during conversations
Headphones are great for blocking out office noise and allowing employees to focus on their tasks without distraction—but they also present a barrier between people. If you listen to music with headphones on, remove them before having a conversation with someone else.
Limit personal calls or texts during work hours
While there may be times when you need to step away from your desk or office cubicle to make or receive such calls or messages (e.g., if you have an emergency at home), try not to make this a habit – especially if it affects your performance. Try setting aside specific times throughout the day when you can take care of any personal business quickly and efficiently so that it doesn't interfere with your work duties.
Workplace civility and technology go hand in hand these days; balancing both is key to professional success.