We all love technology. Our phones. Our laptops. Our tablets. Our TVs. These things provide us with joy, entertainment, and hours upon hours of Netflix binge sessions.
However, sometimes this little obsession of ours isn’t such a great thing. We’re so accustomed to using tech all day, every day that our manners tend to take the backseat from time to time.
But what exactly does that backseat look like? And how do you know if your techno-etiquette isn’t up to par? Here are a few things you might be doing that may or may not be damaging that reputation of yours.
Talk on the phone during a meeting
Have you ever picked up your phone during a meeting? If so, you’re doing something you really shouldn’t be doing. And this includes texting, too.
When you talk or text on your phone during a closed session like that, what you’re really doing is disrespecting everyone at the table. You’re telling these people that whoever is on the other side of that black mirror is more important than whatever you’re discussing.
However, don’t get this confused with general phone use during a meeting. It’s more than acceptable to use your phone to take notes, schedule activities, or record sessions. We live in a modern world where modern tools should be employed.
Email someone a novel
No one likes a long email. One paragraph, that’s fine. Two paragraphs, you’re stretching it. Three paragraphs, you’re testing your luck.
Email someone a message that’s too long and they will misinterpret something and they will miss important information. Be professional and pick up the phone whenever you notice your email is starting to get a little too long.
Be sarcastic in an email
While we’re on the subject of emails, it’s never okay to use sarcasm inside one. And you may even want to be careful with jokes in general.
Someone at some point will probably misconstrue your sarcasm. They’ll think you’re just being rude, unprofessional, or immature.
Use the speakerphone when other people are around
No one wants to hear your conversation when they’re trying to be productive and concentrate on their own work. But when you put someone on speakerphone, you’re basically forcing everyone around you to concentrate on your conversation rather than their own work. And that’s just wrong.
Never put someone on speakerphone unless you’re in a closed office or unless there are multiple team members in the same room that need to be involved in the call.
And as a side note, never put someone on speakerphone unless you’ve informed the person on the other side of the phone of your intentions. They may not want other people in the building to potentially hear what they have to say.
Fail to communicate that you aren’t in the office
If you’re on vacation or if you leave work early for the day, it’s always a good idea to notify people that you won’t be in the office. This doesn’t mean you have to email everyone and let them know that you’re gone. All you have to do is update your status. For example, if you use Skype in the office, just adjust your status to read Off Work or Away.
If you fail to do this, you may or may not be greeted with a handful of passive aggressive emails and instant messages the next day. No one wants that. So just change your status.
Tech when people are talking to you
When people physically approach you, drop your gadgets. Or at the very least, tell that person to wait until you’re finished. And NEVER pick up a gadget in mid-conversation.
If you’re texting, typing, or dialing, the person who’s right in front of your face will receive the impression that you aren’t paying attention to them. They’ll either give up, get mad, or feel rejected. None of which are feelings any person should feel at work for no justifiable reason.