7 Common Smartphone Mistakes You’re Making at Work

We can all agree—smartphones are awesome. They connect the world in ways we never thought possible. But sometimes they suck you in and it’s hard to snap back to reality. In the workplace, it’s increasingly hard and especially important to be mindful of how you use your smartphone.

Here are a few ways you might be missing the mark when it comes to smartphone use in the office:

You’re using Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” as your ringtone.

Yes, this still happens. And your coworkers hate it. While you’re at it, just turn your ringer off. Leave your phone on silent in the office to avoid making the people around you listen to every text message you receive. And maybe this is just a personal pet peeve, but we can all hear your phone on vibrate buzzing and jumping around on your desk. Don’t just put your phone on vibrate. Mute. That. Sucker.

You’re checking email during a business meeting.

Bringing your phone into a meeting seems harmless enough. You leave it on the table next to you, just in case someone texts or calls (because you’re that important). You end up checking your email or texting someone sitting across the table from you. Then a social media alerts pops up, “Nancy and Philip got engaged.” Before you know it, you have no idea what’s being said in the meeting. I challenge you to NOT bring your cell phone into meetings at all. You will glean a lot more from the material being presented. And unless you are an executive, responding to your emails can most likely wait.

You’re on the phone at networking events.

It’s easy to clam up at networking events and shut the world out by keeping busy on your phone. The impression you are giving others is ‘I don’t have time for you,’ or ‘I have more important things to do. This is a missed opportunity.

You’re yelling into your phone.

Not only does your ringtone volume need to be turned down, but phone conversations, personal or work-related, need to be held at a courteous volume. You don’t have to scream. Really, technology is quite good now. Use your inside voice.

You take personal calls in your cubicle.

It’s one thing to take a quick call from your spouse about your dinner reservation that night. It’s another to take a call during which you’re going to ramble, get emotional, or argue with someone—especially if you’re yelling about it (see previous point). If you must answer, find a private place, like a conference room or breakroom if it’s empty.

You have your phone on the table during a business meal.

You are surrounded by people who want to have a conversation with you. Look up from your phone; the people sitting with you at your table should be your priority. Most likely, the entire reason they are taking you out to lunch is because they want to converse. This isn’t the time to check your texts, emails, or social media feeds. When relevant, it’s ok to pull out your phone to show a picture or a video, but then put it away again.

You have your phone out when someone is at your desk.

Having your phone out is a sign that something is more important than the person in your office. You don’t want to give that impression. Also, if your phone is sitting out on your desk and someone texts you, it’s tempting to pick it up to read it. Suddenly, you realize you have no idea what the person across from you is saying. When someone walks up to your desk, stash your phone in a drawer or your purse. Give the person your full attention.


{Disclaimer: I am a repeat offender of these mistakes. I am working on my workplace phone etiquette right along with you guys.}