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Mobile Etiquette

The mobile phone…possibly one of the best conveniences created in recent history (some of the time). We can think of many positives for having a mobile device, but the one thing that many of us may forget is our manners when using our phone or tablet. Mobile etiquette is important, but it is probably most critical to observe at work. Here are eight tips when using your mobile device to ensure you are remembering your tech manners.  

  1. Pay attention to other people. Put your phone down when others are talking and really listen to what is being said. What your co-workers are sharing with you may be an important piece of information that you may not want to miss.  
  2. Notice others’ mobile manners. Are other co-workers bringing their phone to meetings, lunch, one-on-one conversations? If you must bring your phone for an emergency, let others know at the beginning of the meeting that you may have to step out to take a call (but do not make a habit of always having an “emergency” situation).
  3. Keep private situations private. If you need to have a confidential conversation, make sure you are in a private place where you will not be overheard. The same goes for your personal information – not everyone needs to overhear about your medical appointment. If you must take a personal call while at work, make it brief.
  4. Avoid distraction while driving. You may be responsible for driving a company car (or any car for that matter). Do not text and drive.
  5. Control your mobile device's sounds. When you are in a conference room with your colleagues, you do not want you phone to accidentally start playing beeping, buzzing, or playing a tune.  
  6. Take note of the quiet areas. Some work areas have quiet zones for a reason. Those zones are not set up for people to be distracting others to use their mobile devices. 
  7. Be aware of what you are looking at on your phone. If you’re at work, you may receive a SnapChat from one of your best friends. It may be a funny inside joke that is shared between you two, but it may not be “work appropriate.” Keep things G-rated. You never know what someone may oversee on your phone. 
  8. Watch your volume. According to the NY Daily News, the average person talks three times louder when they are on a mobile device. Try not to distract others with loud phone conversations.  

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”
–Steven Spielberg

About the author

Lauren Verhoff

Lauren Verhoff is a Graduate Administrative Associate with Engineering Career Services.