by Mike Masnick

Mobile Phone Etiquette Questions Reach The Office

from the to-answer-or-not-to-answer? dept

It was only a matter of time. We've seen stories about mobile phone etiquette in general (turning off your phone in public places, not talking loudly around others) and ringtone etiquette in the office (not having some silly obnoxious ringtone play in front of your boss), but the next question to come up is about general mobile phone etiquette in the office. With more and more people using mobile phones to replace their desk phone, it adds a bit of complexity to the situation. Since people take their phones with them, meetings often get interrupted as people feel the need to answer their mobile phones -- even when in the middle of something else. One interesting side note is the dichotomy between people who believe mobile phones are only to be called "in an emergency" and those who believe that mobile phones can be called at any time. Apparently, clashes between the two camps can get messy -- as those who are in the "emergency only" camp get annoyed when people call them about regular business on their mobile phone, and those in the "any time" camp get annoyed that people don't call them on their mobile phone. Of course, my preferred solution is just to have one phone number that rings my office phone and which I can forward to my mobile phone when appropriate -- while also recognizing that I don't always have to answer my mobile phone. That allows me to make the rules, rather than having others decide which number to call or making me a slave to a ringing phone.

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  • identicon
    kael, 7 Jul 2005 @ 6:37am


    A vendor was recently in, giving a training presentation for clients. The vendor stopped several times in mid sentence to check his pager.

    Unprofessional, to say the least.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tim Swearingen, 7 Jul 2005 @ 8:30am

    Office and Mobile Phones

    I have my voicemail box tied to my desk phone and my mobile phone. I ask people to call my desk. If they leave a message my mobile will get a notification.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daniel Escasa, 7 Jul 2005 @ 10:42am

    Most of the world is on GSM, right?

    I know most of Asia and Europe is on GSM. So, there's caller ID, right? If someone calls and I can't take that call, the number shows up on my phone's display, so I can call later. No reason for me to answer say, when I'm in the middle of a meeting. Or someplace else I shouldn't be using my phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 7 Jul 2005 @ 10:50am

      Re: Most of the world is on GSM, right?

      It's not just GSM that has caller ID, CDMA does too... but it's not just the caller ID issue. Some people just feel like they HAVE to answer the phone, no matter who's calling. Consider it a pavlovian response.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, 8 Jul 2005 @ 12:24pm

    We resort to fines

    In our conference room is a jar with cash. If anybody's phone rings it's a dollar. If they answer, its another two. If they look at their blackberry it's a buck.

    The jar got half full pretty quickly and now has been stuck there for a few months.

    We even enforce this during board meetings...the VCs have paid up too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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