Cell phones are incredibly convenient, as family and friends can always reach you, even at work. This constant accessibility impedes professional performance, as the phone distracts you from the tasks at hand. It also annoys coworkers and superiors. Unless your company has a clear policy on cell phone use, here are the main etiquette rules to follow.
1. Limit Phone Use to Important Calls
Working hours are not the best time to chit-chat with a friend or partner. Have these conversations during your lunch or on your drive home. Very few calls are really urgent. Unknown callers can put you in trouble, so do not pick up. You can track a phone number online during the break and blacklist any unwanted intruders.
Almost any boss will understand that you need to answer a call about a family emergency. For example, if your school nurse is calling to inform you that your kid is ill, this is a legit excuse. People who tend to call you about every little thing must know you are not always available during working hours.
2. Silence the Ringer
Set the phone on vibrate. If you are waiting for an important call from your family, put it in your pocket, so you will not miss it. Take the call discreetly or reply with a text. This way, your phone use will not bother your colleagues, and the boss will not know about it. A smartwatch can also alert you about incoming messages and calls.
3. Put Your Phone Away
If your cell phone is always in view, it is tempting to use it, particularly because of social media. Even if the company does not prohibit cell phone use, limiting yourself is a good idea. Put your device into a desk drawer, and check it from time to time.
4. Use Voicemail
Let your voicemail pick up the calls, so you do not have to answer them. Check the recordings regularly and reply based on urgency. Naturally, when someone is expecting you to deal with emergencies, this is out of the question. However, voicemail is still ideal for non-urgent calls.
5. Find a Private Place to Make Calls
Making calls during a lunch break is perfectly legit, but you need to do it in an appropriate place. Find a private spot where colleagues who are also on break will not disturb you or overhear your conversations.