Meeting etiquette tends to generate a lot of diverging opinions, especially concerning the use of mobile phones in meetings. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether it's appropriate for you to take your phone into your next meeting.
According to Digital Age, “There are countless etiquette sources that say it's rude to take a mobile phone call in a meeting, and you should turn your phone off. But this advice dates to when phones were used to make calls. Now you could be checking your email or sports scores, or you could be checking something relevant to the meeting on the web or taking notes.”
Take These Points Into Consideration
- How would you feel if you were hosting a meeting and someone was more attentive to their phone than what you were saying? If you'd hate it, be respectful and don't do it to someone else.
- If you get caught using your mobile, would it be embarrassing for you? What about those times when your phone wasn’t on silent mode and started ringing, disrupting everyone around you?
- Ask yourself this question – do you really need your phone or are you just using it out of habit?
Now consider that you are attending an online meeting - would not being in the same room as the presenter change your decision to carry your phone to the meeting?
Remember, if it is a web conference, there are likely to be webcams operating and your boss might actually notice that you are distracted or that you are not actively participating in the meeting.
It might also be worthwhile to think of how a mobile phone ringing might break the thought flow of the presenter and cause a disruption for all the people in the conference.
Before taking your phone into a meeting, make sure you have a valid reason to be doing so and make absolutely sure that it's not going to disrupt the meeting unless strictly necessary.
While it might not be a good idea to tweet during your meeting, you can definitely tweet to us about your decisions (@ExpressVM) so we can share your thoughts with others who are interested in observing good meeting etiquette.