Smartphones are a standard in the workplace, personal life, and at all public or private events. The common use of a smartphone is encouraging businesses to implement BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies. But with this prevalence comes a lax approach to the phone use; the user forgetting to be considerate or just implementing some basic common sense. The over use of smartphones can be interpreted as disrespectful which, in turn, can raise tension in groups and lead to unproductive habits.
Use these 8 habits to improve your smartphone etiquette.
- Don’t walk and use your smartphone. Having your focus on the phone, and not on the path, can be obstructive for those following. Step aside; out of the path. Respond to the message as needed, and then return to moving on once you are able to devote your attention to walking.
- Use the device judiciously. A smartphone may seem most appropriate at a business or team meeting, but may not always be productive. Your fellow workers, and even your boss, may see them as a distraction. Show respect to others by focusing just on them and the task at hand. If the smartphone is brought to the meeting, keep it on silent and lay it face down on the table so messages cannot be seen. Plan to use it only when absolutely necessary for the productivity of the group.
- Avoid taking calls in the middle of a conversation. If you are expecting an urgent call, make it known. Then when the call comes in, politely excuse yourself and step aside to answer the call. All non-urgent calls should be ignored so you can maintain your attention to the live conversation.
- When checking messages during a large conference, use the smartphone discretely. Hold down low, and keep angled towards you. Be sure the keyboard clicks are turned off in advance. So others will not have to listen to you typing a return message.
- Remove earpieces when not in use. Hands free devices are distracting and can cause confusion in a conversation; the other party may wonder if you are talking with them or someone on the phone.
- Clearly define what is important. This will help you manage the messages/calls that must be taken, and those that can wait.
- Avoid using annoying closing remarks to messages. A customized signature can be setup when email is added to your smartphone. The use of “XOXOX” can divert attention from the actual message you are trying to portray.
- Learn how to live without your smartphone. Repetitive use can actually become a habit; and not because it was necessary. When possible, leave your smartphone in the car or your desk drawer and build a new habit of only using it when appropriate.