It may be nearly 60 years since the inimitable Emily Post passed away, but her affect is still keenly felt in all things ‘etiquette’. Born in 1872, she was very much ahead of her time as her etiquette instruction included not only the drawing room, but business and politics as well. Her legacy lives on through her great-grandchildren, who all contribute to The Emily Post Institution on a regular basis.
Her great-grandson, Peter Post, specifically covers all things work-etiquette related. While we all know what constitutes good manners and how to behave while standing around the office water cooler catching up on everyone’s news, we sometimes need a little reminder of what constitutes good tech etiquette considering how invasive technology has become in our lives.
- Keep your mobile phone on silent
While your company policy may allow for personal phone calls, no one wants to be subjected to your Game of Thrones ring tone when you’ve stepped away from your desk, sans mobile.
- Do not wear headphones away from your desk
Listening to music or blocking out the surrounding noise may help you to be more productive, but make sure you remove the headphones before you leave your desk. Leaving them on while wandering through the office is anti-social and not very polite.
- Do not use someone else’s computer
While all the computers in the office might belong to the company, don’t be tempted to sit down at someone else’s computer to quickly check a fact. Privacy is important to all of us, and this includes the computers we work on.
- Limit laptop activity during meetings
While laptops are often taken into meetings for note-taking, don’t be tempted to check mail or work on something else while the meeting is on-going – it becomes quite obvious to those around you when you’re no longer focusing on the speaker.
- Do not email or text what could be said in person
While certain messages require a paper trail, many others don’t. Don’t be tempted to fall into the constant email or text message trap – particularly when the recipient is only two desks away from you. Technology is great, but it can very easily make us anti-social and too insular.
And last, but not least, if on your way to delivering that message you decide to stop at the water cooler for a drink and you finish the water, please make a point of refilling it – nothing’s worse than wanting or needing something, and the last person to use it hasn’t replenished it.
Always remember, manners maketh man.