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While mobile technology may boost productivity, it’s not doing much for workers’ manners.
A study by Robert Half Technology revealed that more than 60 percent of chief information officers believe an increased use of mobile gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, has led to more breaches in workplace etiquette over the last three years. That number is up from 51 percent who said the same thing in 2010.
Less than 5 percent said mobile devices have improved workplace manners.
And while smartphones and tablets have helped employees get more work done, they are also serving as a round-the-clock distraction, said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.
"If you're not fully engaged in a conversation or meeting, you may spend more time replying to emails than listening, for example," Reed said. "These devices can also make it easier to mistakenly offend colleagues when you fire off a communication too quickly, or use the wrong medium for the message."
Robert Half offers tips on four things employees should avoid to remain in the good graces of their colleagues.
- Surfing while talking: Checking email while someone is trying to have a one-on-one conversation is impolite. Those who do come off looking distracted and disrespectful.
- Leaving a long voice mail: For most communications, get to the point quickly. Aim for a voice mail that's no longer than 30 seconds unless it's a delicate or complicated issue.
- Using the wrong form of communication: Whether it is sending a text, emailing, instant messaging or calling, it is always important to use the proper medium based on what's being discussed.
- Taking multitasking to the extreme:While it is generally acceptable to bring laptops and smartphones to meetings, it is still critical to be an active and attentive participant. Rein in the urge to surf the Web, update Facebook or check email every minute.
The research was based on surveys of more than 2,300 chief information officers from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.