Randstad Canada News Room

Technology Etiquette – Global Survey says Canadian Workers Hate Technological Interruptions

Posted by Dayana Fraser on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

TORONTO, April 2, 2012 – Findings from Randstad’s latest Global Workmonitor, surveying employees in 29 countries around the world, reveal that technology etiquette is very important to Canadian workers and they dislike responses to technological interruptions during meetings.

The results show that a majority of Canada’s employees (73%) report that they are bothered by people who answer their phone or respond to email during business meetings. On the other hand, only 14% of Canadian respondents indicate they are guilty of not following technology etiquette themselves.

To support this fact, 68 per cent of Canadian employees also indicated they prefer face-to-face contact over other means of communications, such as telephone or email. Additionally, more than four out of ten Canadian employees (42%) say they create moments during their day when they ignore contact like phone and e-mail.

When it comes to responding to emails and calls during meetings, Stacy Parker, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Randstad Canada, says it all depends on the nature of the meeting, and the environment – just make sure your actions remain professional.

“Even with easier and quicker access to information that new technologies like smartphones, social media, videoconferencing and others provide, people still value face to face interactions. Smartphone’s can have a very appropriate place during a meeting or business setting, especially if using it serves to facilitate or enhance the speed of business. On the other hand, it can feel light a slight when you are meeting with someone just to have them pull out their phone and read a text message while simultaneously talking to you,” says Parker. “In our own organization, for example, our President asks executives to turn off their phones during executive committee meetings, just to make sure everyone remains focused on the matter at hand.”

The overall global results indicate 75 per cent of employees around the world feel it is not appropriate to answer a call or respond to email during a business meeting, while 15-20 per cent of the respondents actually admit to doing this.

The level of acceptance of this practice varies by country. In India and China 75 per cent think it is wrong to answer a call or email but nearly half of the employees do it anyway. Hungary’s results are similar to Canada, where a high percentage of employees say they are bothered by these actions (89%) but also report that they are not guilty of the practice very often (9%) themselves.

The overall global results for face-to-face communication are also in line with Canada, as 70 per cent of all employees say they prefer personal contact over phone or email. In Turkey, over 80 per cent report preferring face-to-face contact, while interestingly enough, only 57 per cent of employees from Japan, Norway and Singapore prefer face-to-face communication.

According to Parker, “New technologies have definitely changed the way we conduct business, and plays a key role in knowledge sharing, but companies have to learn to find a good balance between virtual and face-to-face communication in order to create a workplace that is efficient, productive, inspiring and team-oriented.’’


Source: Randstad Canada
A complete press report, including detailed regional differences, is available on

The Randstad Workmonitor: After the successful introduction of the Workmonitor in the Netherlands in 2003 and more recently in Germany, the survey now covers 29 countries around the world, encompassing Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time. The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the first wave of 2012 was conducted from January 20 to February 14, 2012.

About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit Employment agency randstad.ca

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