From your smartphone to your laptop to your iPad, technology helps you stay in touch and connected. In many ways, technology use can be critical to job performance and making sure clients and colleagues can reach you and share information. Sometimes, however, technology gets in the way of establishing and maintaining in-person connections. Using it at the wrong time can even make you seem rude and inattentive. Practicing good technology etiquette is essential to putting your best foot forward in the workplace.
Follow these best practices to keep the conveniences of modern life from interfering with good business:
Provide undivided attention. When you are in a meeting; with a colleague, superior or client; or in an interview, give the people present your undivided attention. Avoid sending or checking text messages, posting on Facebook and answering your cell phone. Using such technology in the presence of others makes you seem preoccupied and even disinterested. Even if you are paying attention, the mere use of your cell phone or other device makes this difficult to determine.
Be forthcoming about expected interruptions. There may be times when you just have to accept a cell phone call or send a text while with a colleague, boss or client. In such a case, practicing good technology etiquette means letting others know to expect the interruption in advance and stressing the importance of the communication. This way, they are not surprised--and annoyed--when it happens, and they also get the sense that you value their time and attention.
Practice considerate tweeting. You might feel excited about a meeting or business development and want to tweet about it right away. Unless you inform those around you of your plans, however, you may appear more interested in fiddling with your technology than engaging in the current events. Avoid this by informing those present that you plan to tweet the details and explaining why.
Apply good phone technology etiquette. Unless you are participating in a conference call, those around you should not have to listen to your telephone conversation. If you must take a call in the presence of business associates, colleagues and clients, excuse yourself and find a private place to talk. Remember, speaking loudly in the hallway is nearly as disturbing as taking a call in the meeting room. Additionally, it shows a lack of respect for those in your physical presence.