Mobility is important to today’s workers and can be valuable to many different types of businesses; so much so that businesses demand that employees stay connected. Sometimes, especially when in public, this can become a social problem. Today, we will discuss mobile phone etiquette and five ways that you can improve yours.
We’ve all been there. We’re driving or on the train and a phone call comes in that you absolutely have to take. What do you do? Most people will take the call, but the right thing to do is send it to voicemail and return the call as soon as possible. Why? Because you are distracted. It’s best to call back and give the caller the attention they deserve rather than trying to juggle a phone call in the middle of traffic. Okay, this one is pretty basic, but it’s the foundation of all mobile etiquettes.
One of the biggest problems with mobile business is that there seems to be a continuous amount of communications that come in. This isn’t a problem when you are free to talk or text. It can be a problem if you are with other people, however. If you must take a phone call when you are face-to-face with others, be sure to excuse yourself and go at least ten feet away. This is courteous, and after all, it’s only four more feet than social distancing.
Brevity is often a cornerstone to modern mobile communication, with emails and texts often being short and sweet. Keep in mind though, sometimes being overly short can come across as disarming or even disrespectful to the recipient.
One of the biggest faux pas that a mobile professional can have is the tendency to text people when other people demand their attention. If there is business going on right in front of you, even if it’s just a meal or an impromptu conversation, do yourself a favor and wait until it is over to return text messages. Again, pretty basic, but it doesn’t hurt to keep it top of mind.
This one is a serious problem. A lot of times when people are on the go, their service is not conducive to professional conversation. You can't do business if calls keep getting dropped or texts don't go through because you've chosen a poor place to conduct a mobile meeting; and nothing ruins your ability to communicate than if people have to stop every few minutes to get clarification or ask you to repeat yourself. Choose your location wisely.
Sometimes you can’t help it, we get it, but if you are planning on running a meeting and need to participate, try to be somewhere where the service is reliable. It’s a sign that you respect everyone else’s time. If it’s impossible to prevent, simply be forthcoming about it and let everyone know at the start of the call. Perhaps even give an option to resume the call later if things get too difficult for the other participants.
When you return phone calls soon after you miss them, it shows professionalism and respect for the caller. If you are going to be out of touch for a bit, whether it be for meetings or personal time, it is solid practice to change your voicemail to state when you won’t be available. Then, when you are available, be sure to reach back out. Nothing is worse than getting a voicemail stating that the person won’t be available two weeks ago.
The mobile device is one of the best business tools available for people today, but knowing how to use them professionally is extremely important. Have you had to deal with a vendor or client that doesn’t adhere to mobile best practices? Leave your stories in the comments section below and return to our blog for more great tips and tricks each week.
Seán is the Managing Director at Aniar IT Services and has been working in IT for over 20 years
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