Rude colleague disturbing meeting by talking on Smartphone

In today’s world of texting, Skype, Skype for business, Lync, and conference calls, business communication has advanced to such an extent that the art of proper business communication etiquette may have been lost for good, and replaced with an expectation of instant gratification.  Add in the ever increasing open office spaces and inter office emails often are ignored in favor of standing up and seeking out a colleague directly as opposed to scheduling a meeting as we would have as recently as five years ago.  While this face to face communication may offer a more immediate resolution, it can certainly affect productivity of the person being sought out, and possibly the other employee’s in the immediate vicinity.  Unfortunately this office faux paus is not the only area where today’s corporate office members fall short.  The following is a list of some of the others:

The social butterfly:

Train of thought and concentration are as delicate and fragile as a fine porcelain statuette, and just as easily shattered.  Human beings are by nature curious and social beings, and any upsetting of the normal office quiet with unnecessary or inappropriate overheard conversations can spread like wildfire, and be just as damaging.  Conversations that are not office PC should be saved for outside the office, and business related communication should be reserved for email or a quick phone call if immediate communication is required.

The email shouter:   

Any office emails are considered business letters, and should be treated as such.  Once you hit “send” you never actually know how many people are going to read what you have just written, or attached.  A good rule of thumb is to operate with the understanding that every email you construct is going to be viewed by your supervisor, and their supervisor.  Keep it professional, utilize the proper business letter format, and pay attention to your spelling and punctuation—nobody wants to be shouted at WITH ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, certainly your boss doesn’t.  And always be cognizant of not hitting “reply to all.”  One tiny little click can result in a mountain of problems.

The bobble head:

It’s funny how the people who are constantly trying to fool those around them in meetings by acting like they aren’t looking at their phones, don’t realize that if their boss didn’t actually know they were looking at their phones, would assume instead that the employee had some sort of neck issue that caused a continuous bobbing and ducking of the head.  Checking your phone during meetings is rude, and doesn’t make you appear as you are multi-tasking, it simply makes you look disrespectful and uninterested in the topics being covered.  The best rule of thumb to follow is to always turn your phone off or to silent (not vibrate, but silent) until the conclusion of any meeting.

Proper office etiquette is essential to keeping the delicate inner office balance, and employees should always be cognizant of how their own behavior is going to reflect upon themselves.  A little bit of common sense and the correct usage of the tools that are in place for office communication can go a long way in violating these common faux paus, and keeping themselves from having to view m.

David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years industry experience.  As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or

Businessman Checking Phone During Meeting In Office