Five Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Cellphone Use Recently, I was invited to participate in a business meeting that was held in DC last week. It was with a group from the company’s HR department discussing protocol and etiquette training as a part of their on boarding. As I was escorted to the boardroom 11 minutes before the start of the meeting, another person was also entering the room on their phone. The assistant tried introducing me but could not successfully because they well, were occupied by their phone. A second person entered the room on a call seemingly ordering refreshments for the meeting, gestured hello and then walked out of the room again. Lastly, a third individual came in, greeted me, introduced themselves, sat and then made a call. Once the executive arrived for the meeting everyone immediately hung up (yet the phones rang and buzzed throughout the entire meeting). Let’s just say, I hope they will join the new employees for the Protocol International training one of the topics the committee decided on was Techno Etiquette! If you see the same scenes playing out within your organization and it is one of your pet peeves, consider bringing Protocol International’s program on Techno Etiquette to your organization. In the meantime, here are a few tips for cell phone use in the workplace. 1. When entering the workplace, make sure ringer is off Nothing is worse than having your favorite song on your ringtone blasting through the office when your cell phone rings. In the event that your ringtone is a simple default ringtone that comes with your phone, it is still best to make sure your phone is on silent. 2. Avoid accessing and answering your cell phone while engaged in conversation While engaged in conversation with a colleague, give them your undivided attention. It is very rude to interrupt a face-to-face conversation to pull out your cell phone to answer a call or text while someone is speaking to you. Avoid the urge to do this, it will be appreciated. 3. Take personal calls in private Taking personal calls in a professional environment isn’t exhibiting respect for the workplace. Your colleagues may not be interested in hearing your personal conversations. It is proper protocol and etiquette to retreat to a private area to take these calls. 4. Do not use your phone during meetings Using your phone during meetings is disrespectful and gives the impression that something more important has your interest. It is important to give your undivided attention to the speaker or the topic being discussed as a matter of respect and so that you don’t miss important information pertaining to your job. Please do not have your phone out or even periodically check it under the table during a meeting. Unless it is absolutely necessary for you to be reached, leave your phone at your desk during meetings. 5. Do not have cell phones out at business lunches/dinners Cell phone are not a part of the place setting at the dining table. Please keep them in your purse or pocket during your business breakfast, lunch, dinner or tea. (Note Tip’s #2 & #4) Cellphones have become on of themes utilized devices, prompting corporations to assess and develop protocols to address their usage. It is important to understand the impact cell phone use has on respect and reputation in the work environment. It is commonplace to find someone in the office and on their cellphone. Even as companies try to restrict their use, a Harris survey shows that individuals will find a way. With that in mind, here are a few Protocol International tips for cellphone use in the workplace. If you are nodding and if this is one of your pet peeves consider having Protocol International Program on Techno Etiquette.