Many employees are willing to work hard and give their best to get noticed by their superiors. Being dependable, a team player and going beyond the call of duty can open the door to new opportunities. But if you don’t use common sense when it comes to making or receiving personal cell phone calls while on the job, this could affect how you’re perceived.
If your boss allows cell phones in the workplace, you should use good judgment to avoid annoying and distracting others, including your boss. But what’s allowed and what should you avoid doing? Chances are, you’re making one of these 5 mistakes at work – keep an eye out for these behaviors and try to curb them when you notice yourself slipping.
1. Speaking loudly while on your cell phone.
Speaking more loudly – a natural reaction when you’re on the phone – is okay when you’re home or inside your car. But in the workplace surrounded by colleagues, yelling or speaking loudly into your phone is a definite annoyance. And it’s especially annoying if you constantly put your phone on speaker for everyone to hear. Speakerphone might make it easier to talk and work at the same time, but it can also distract those around you.
Instead, take calls outside or in a private and enclosed area of your office. If that’s not possible, avoid answering your call. A quick text message or email to the person contacting you will let them know you’re unable to take a call during work hours, or let your contacts know beforehand when it’s OK to contact you via phone.
2. Blabbing about personal matters.
Your boss might be okay with brief cell phone calls during the day, but you could run into problems if your friends or family call often throughout the day, or if you spend more time on your phone than actually working. It can also irritate and make others feel uncomfortable when you talk openly about intimate or personal matters within their earshot. The same way others don’t want to hear a loud phone voice, they don’t want to constantly hear about your family or personal drama. This isn’t only annoying, it’s also unprofessional. Let voice mail pick up your calls or find a private place to take personal calls.
3. Annoying ringtones.
You have the right to choose any ringtone you want for your cell phone. Even so, be considerate of those around you. During the workday, everyone is focused and concentrating on important matters. If you receive personal calls on your cell phone, a loud, obnoxious ringtone could ruffle a few feathers and distract others from their work. Again, your ringtone is your choice. As a courtesy, however, put your phone on silent or vibrate while working.
4. Failing to give your undivided attention.
Depending on your job, you might work in teams or collaborate on projects with others. In these instances, your coworkers need your undivided attention. Constantly being on your phone either texting, emailing or checking social media can affect productivity and workflow. If your phone usage becomes a distraction, you might fail to hear or take note of vital information. As a result, your coworkers might have to repeat themselves or send you reminders. If your phone starts to become a distraction, keep it out of sight while working, and only check it once or twice during the day.
5. Secretly recording conversations.
If you’re having a confidential meeting or conversation with another person, don’t record this conversation without their permission. Your reasons for recording a conversation might be innocent, perhaps to have something to refer to once the discussion ends. However, depending on your state’s law, it could be illegal to record a conversation without the consent of all participants.
Your employer might be okay with cell phones in the office, but this doesn’t mean that your phone should consume your every minute. You come to work to get a job done. So unless it’s an emergency, limit your cell phone usage throughout the day. If you begin spending too much time on your phone and not enough time on work, this could affect productivity and hinder your advancement.