The top 7 rules for using mobile phones at work

Der Umgang mit dem Handy ist immer wieder ein Diskussionspunkt. Der Grund: Die Handy-Manie vieler Benutzer wird immer rücksichtsloser. Hier sind die sieben wichtigsten Regeln, an die sich jeder halten sollte.

The way in which people use their mobile phones in the office can sometimes cause problems. Even if you only use yours for work-related matters, you should still mind your manners. Here are the top seven mobile phone rules. Follow them, and you can be sure you won't annoy your co-workers or disrupt meetings.

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1 Don't shout

Most mobile phones are just as good as, if not better than, landlines. And even if the signal is bad, it won't get any better if you shout into your phone.

2 Keep private matters private

Some subjects are not suitable to be discussed in public. If you are in a confined space, like in an open-plan office, leave the area or postpone the conversation until you can continue it in private.

3 Turn your phone off or put it on silent

There are many situations where a ringing phone is distracting – in meetings, when you are talking with clients or staff, and so on. Avoid disturbing other people or showing a lack of respect by turning your phone off or by putting it on silent.

4 Don't make yourself available all the time

If you always answer your mobile phone, people will expect you to be available at all times. If they can't reach you, they will be frustrated. Respect your own private time, like your lunch break, by not being available all the time. Whenever possible, turn your phone off when you’re in meetings. When people do reach you, or you call them back, it will make it seem more important.

5 Choose your ring tone carefully

To keep the level of aggravation down to a minimum, choose a standard
ring tone or set your phone to vibrate.

6 Let the caller know you're on a mobile phone

If the call has been transferred from your landline to your mobile phone, the caller will not know you are using a mobile, so tell them. This will prepare them for broken signals and a bad connection. Let the caller know if your battery is dying, and try to finish the call before the dead battery ends it for you.

Here are some useful phrases

  • I'm sorry if the connection is weak, but the call was transferred to my mobile because the landline was engaged.
  • If you'd like to dial again, I'll pick up my landline.
  • My battery is nearly empty, so please excuse me if we're suddenly cut off.

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7 If you're expecting an important call, let other people know

If you are expecting a really important call, tell the person or people you are interacting with and, if appropriate, ask for permission. Put the phone on silent or vibration to keep the disturbance to a minimum. When you answer the call, leave the room and have the conversation outside.

Here are some useful phrases

  • I'm expecting an important call. Is it okay if I leave my phone on the table?
  • I'm sorry, I'm going to have to take this. I'll keep it short and be right back.
  • If you'd just excuse me for a moment, I'll take this outside. I'll be right back.