If you’ve ever worked in any kind of creative industry you’ll shudder at the mention of the phrase “I don’t know what I want but I know that this isn’t it!” You’ll be familiar with a client or boss who decides you need a “rolling brief” where they tell you about the changes they want to see put into your work on an hourly basis and they think that this helps.
The world of office etiquette is also constantly shifting. Things that were regarded as rude a few years ago are now commonly acceptable as behavior in general changes. You might not be able to put your finger on what exactly it is you regard as impertinence but you’ll certainly know it when it happens to you. Intel conducted a survey in which the y found that ninety percent of respondents said they had seen technology misused in the office and seventy five percent go along with the assertion that etiquette while using a mobile phone is worse than it was a year ago. The study also found that, as a society, we’re aware that the behavior we indulge in could be construed as rude by those surrounding us with a fifth reporting that they knew they were behaving badly but justified their behavior “because every one else does.”
So, got a leg to stand on when complaining about your colleague taking personal calls on their mobile when you’ve got a deadline to meet, or updating their Facebook page when clients are in the office? And it doesn’t help when the social seeps into the business field, having a laptop for work means that you’re taking your work home with you every night but it also means that you’re bringing your social life into the office with you every morning what with Facebook almost reaching saturation point and Twitter being available on every electronic device you own short of the toaster.
Source – rafeblandford
The survey, conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project points out that the way other people use their technology and gadgets can annoy other people and cause frustration. Ninety two percent of those surveyed said they wished people would display better manners when talking on a phone in a public area. If I want to go ‘off radar’ all I need do is switch off my phone for the weekend, some people though, are always on, a fifth of those surveyed said that their communication devices, be they mobiles, laptops, iPhones and androids were on from early in the morning until late at night, in fact they checked their phones before getting out of bed in the morning.
The trouble with the ubiquitous mobile is that we all too easily engage in the bad habits that annoy us about other people when they do the same thing. It’s so easy to start talking while driving (which, depending on where you live, is an offence punishable by law) or start talking loudly in public and texting when walking and not paying proper attention to other pedestrians. When I’m walking and I see cyclists riding on the sidewalk texting I want to scream and/or push them into oncoming traffic. I don’t think I’m alone either.
The survey comes up with some handy tips which should be obvious but are often overlooked.
1) Practice what you preach – If you don’t like it when others do it, don’t do it yourself.
2) Focus – Give your attention to those who are present and excuse yourself if you have to make or take a call.
3) Surroundings – Before you use the ‘phone in public look around and consider if you want these people to overhear your conversation.
4) Rules – Make groundrules for mobile use with friends, family and colleagues, ie, switch the phone to silent if it has to be on during work hours, only call during work hours if there’s an emergency et cetera.
5) Dude please – Don’t use the phone when you’re taking a ‘comfort break.’
Guest blogger Dan Cash works on the south coast of England. Some of the best places to stay are hotels on the Isle of Wight. Not only are they clean and comfortable, they are most of all polite! If you find accommodation on the Isle of Wight where the staff aren’t impeccable contact the author, he’ll sort it!