Do it right: Mobile manners

Switch off. Be boss of your phone, not its slave. Ban yourself from the BlackBerry at weekends, don't leap at every beep, and be firm if your superior expects split-second replies to out-of-hours e-mail.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Remember where you are. Ranting down the phone about work is inappropriate on crowded streets and rush-hour trains or in restaurants. It's annoying for others, and your contact at the other end won't appreciate every Tom, Dick and Harriet knowing their business.

Be professional. Don't call from areas with dodgy reception, and warn the other party that you're on a mobile. Control your volume - you may be struggling to hear yourself over the traffic, but to the other person it will feel like you're shouting.

Take it with you. The aim is for colleagues and clients to be able to reach you. A mobile ringing all afternoon on your vacant desk is guaranteed to nark your colleagues - especially if it has a novelty ring-tone.

Off means off. Kill your phone in meetings. A phone on 'mute' is much better than a shrill ring tone, but a Nokia vibrating in your trousers or handbag is a distraction - and not just for you.

Don't multitask. Mobiles allow us to talk shop whatever we're doing - but that doesn't mean squeezing tomatoes in Tesco while the boss is talking figures. Similarly, virtual golf has no place in meetings.

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