In our previous article, we talked about the explosion of personal technology being used commonly in the business workplace. People are using, and even relying on their own Smart phones, Tablets, Laptops and other devices to improve their productivity. The simple reason may be that using your own device is less restrictive and more private than using a desktop PC on a shared company network. Many companies limit the ability to surf the internet, chat, email and store information on their internal network. This has been both a blessing and a curse for many businesses. It helps them prevent hackers from attacking their infrastructure and keeps their network more secure but at the same time it can hinder productivity if people are spending more time on their own phones than on the company’s computers.

This article is going to focus on some of the some of the biggest DO’s and DON’T’s of using personal devices in the workplace. Hopefully these tips will make for a better work environment, less tension among co-workers and a more confident employer who views you as being conscious at being better on the job.

  • Shut It Off During Meetings: Unless you must use your PDA or cell phone during a meeting, presentation or other gathering, turn it off. Etiquette experts caution that whatever efficiency you gain, you will likely lose in respect when your attention shifts from the meeting agenda to your gadget of choice.
  • Don’t text others when you should be talking: Typing instead of talking can often be the bane of many office environments. Texting in particular, can often be viewed as an intrusion. Simply saying, “Give me a second. I want to send myself an email before I forget what we’ve just discussed” is entirely different than being on your Smartphone and not fully paying attention when someone else is giving a presentation, especially if this goes on for the entire meeting.
  • Always give 100% attention to the person in front of you. Don’t interrupt a face-to-face conversation with someone-in the hallway or in the employee breakroom-by taking a call or texting. The question to ask yourself is this “What impression am I making when my attention is diverted to my phone?”
  • In your cubicle, turn your phone volume way down or to silent. Not everyone wants to hear your phone go off loudly when they are in the middle of trying to finish a project they’ve been working on for hours or days.

Remember that HOW you behave around your co-workers is not the same as the way you behave around your friends.