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Mobile etiquette offenders: Which one are you?

Mobile etiquette breaches are on the rise. Which type of offender are you?
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

You can survey people on just about anything these days. And so the folks at Robert Half Technology commissioned a query of CIOs to ask about the workplace etiquette and the use of mobile devices.

It feels very Miss Manners to report it this way but the survey found that 51 percent of the CIOs said they have seen increased instances of "breaches in workplace etiquette" because of mobile devices.

What really caught my eye in this press release wasn't the results. Instead, I loved the five tech-etiquette offenders. I laughed out loud as I read the descriptions and realized which one was me and which one was a few other nameless people in my life.

Here's the list:

  • The Misguided Multitasker: This person thinks that e-mailing or texting during a meeting or conversation demonstrates efficiency. But others may regard it as a sign he prizes his BlackBerry more than the company he keeps. Unless you want to create potential animosity at work, use your handheld device only in an urgent situation and step out of the room to reply.
  • The E-mail Addict: If you’ve ever played e-mail tag with a colleague, you’ve likely encountered this person. She relies on a constant stream of e-mails, instant messages or texts to communicate all of her needs, often thinking it will save time. But excessive messaging, particularly regarding trivial things, can be inefficient and disruptive. Often a phone call or in-person discussion can resolve issues more quickly.
  • The Broadcaster: This person has no shame when it comes to using his cell phone anytime, anywhere -- including open office halls and the public restroom -- to discuss anything. When using your cell phone in common areas, it’s not only disrespectful but also potentially off-putting to others. Keep private conversations limited to private places.
  • The Cyborg: Rare is the chance you see this person without the blinking glow of a Bluetooth headset or iPod earbud nestled in her ear. Keeping a wireless earpiece or headphones constantly plugged in signals to others who may need to speak to you that your attention is not available. Show that you are accessible to your colleagues by using earpieces in the office with discretion and consideration for those around you.
  • The Distractor: This person may have good intentions in setting his phone to vibrate rather than torturing colleagues with a cheesy ringtone, but hearing it repeatedly buzz loudly on a desktop or during a meeting can be just as distracting. A better solution: Set your phone to silent or keep it in your pocket.

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