Is it Rude to Use Your Phone During a Meeting?
You already know it's rude to check your cell phone during a business meeting, but are men or women more annoyed by it?
Turns out, smartphone use is twice as likely to bother women in the workplace, according to a new study co-authored by Peter W. Cardon of the USC Marshall School of Business and colleagues at Howard University.
For the study, published in the journal Business Communication Quarterly, 550 full-time working professionals were asked what they thought was acceptable, courteous or flat-out rude while using mobile phones at work. It's the first study of this kind to break down attitudes towards mobile phone use by gender, age and region.
Overall, you might want to keep your phone in your pocket if you want to make a good impression at work. Among their findings (via Science Daily):
- Three out of four people -- 76 percent -- said checking texts or emails was unacceptable behavior in business meetings.
- 87 percent of people said answering a call was rarely or never acceptable in business meetings.
- Even at more informal business lunches, the majority of people thought writing a text message is rude -- 66 percent said writing or sending a text message is inappropriate.
- Men were nearly twice as likely as women to consider mobile phone use at a business lunch acceptable. More than 59 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch, compared to 34 percent of women who thought checking texts was appropriate.
- Similarly, 50 percent of men said it was acceptable to answer a call at a power lunch, compared to 26 percent of women.
- Despite the casual reputation, professionals from the West Coast were less accepting of mobile phone use in meetings than people from the East Coast.
- Higher-income professionals had less tolerance for smartphone use in business meetings.
- Dramatic age gap: Younger professionals were nearly three times as likely as older professionals to think tapping out a message over a business lunch is appropriate -- 66 percent of people under 30 said texting or emailing was okay, compared to just 20 percent of those aged 51-65.
- At a working lunch with five other people? Chances are, just having your phone out is offending somebody: A full 20 percent of professionals said simply having your phone out at a business lunch is rude.
- Saying "Excuse me" to take a call didn't cut it: over 30 percent still found it to be rarely/never appropriate during informal/offsite lunch meetings.
The most common grievances people had about smartphone use among their colleagues, including browsing the Internet and checking text messages.