Cell Phone Etiquette in the Workplace
Appropriate cell phone etiquette in the workplace is all about minimizing the effect the presence of your cell phone has on others in the office. In fact, if you handle your cell phone appropriately, your coworkers should be able to forget you even have one, but only until they need to reach you on it, of course.
Silence Is Golden
The easiest way to keep yourself from becoming a cell phone etiquette offender in the office is to mute your phone and put it on vibrate before you even get to the office. If you keep your cell phone on vibrate and set in on your desk, you'll still be able to answer important incoming calls, but you won't disturb your office mates with your ringtone. If your phone receives texts and emails, make sure you turn off any audible notification in the office. Your coworkers don't need to know how many times your spouse texts you during work, and neither does your boss.
Conference Room Etiquette
Unless you're expecting an extremely important phone call or email don't even bring your phone into a workplace meeting. The temptation to check your emails or look something up on the internet can be overwhelming, but it's extremely disrespectful to your coworkers who also have time and effort invested in the meeting. It also increases the likelihood that you'll miss hearing a valuable piece of information or an opportunity to contribute an idea of your own that could impress your boss. If you have to take your phone into a meeting and end up having to take a call, slip out of the meeting as unobtrusively as possible and return as silently and quickly as you can.
Business Dinner Etiquette
If you are trying to impress a client, a coworker, or your boss at a business dinner, the last thing you want to do is offend them by paying more attention to your phone that you do to them. If possible, turn your cell phone off and leave it in your purse or briefcase. If you absolutely must have access to it because you are expecting an important call, leave it in your pocket on vibrate mode. If it rings, only answer essential calls. If you do need to answer a call, excuse yourself from the table and return as quickly as possible. Make sure to apologize for your absence.