Smart phones and meetings

June 22, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
The days of only the powerful few getting by with tapping their Blackberries during meetings are long gone.

When was the last time you were in a gathering where more people seemed interested in the topic or the speaker than in whatever was on their Blackberries â?? or iPhones or Treos? Smart phones have become pervasive in professional settings along with expectations of instantaneous responses.

Critics insist the phones detract from tasks at hand and introduce a low grade of chaos. In short, they cause distractions that compromise quality of work and decisions.

However, the upsides are compelling. Business and conversation certainly move faster. And who really wants to be out of contact?

If youâ??re leading a meeting, what are your rules for phones? Do you have rules at all?

If youâ??re the speaker, do you feel itâ??s rude for others to check e-mail â?? or Facebook and Twitter â?? while youâ??re talking?

To what extent are these questions generational? Younger workers have grown up multitasking.

Anyone willing to predict where phone etiquette will settle out?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • These questions are highly generational. Even at the age of 30, things are so different now than they used to be. For those who can manage to find the right time to check their email/voicemail, these things are amazing for staying in contact and providing good client service. But for those who somehow drop everything the minute an email pops up, I have no idea how any actual work can be getting done throughout the day. (Plus it's frustrating to be talking to someone and have them check their blackberry or email because it dinged. I mean seriously, can't you wait 1 more minute?)
  • Despite the tone of the NYT article today covering this subject, it is NOT old-school for participants in a meeting to concentrate on the matter at hand. Contrary to popular thought, multi-tasking is not really possible and often leads to mistakes or a lack of judgement. Unless one is a doctor or similar sort of person who must be available for health-related emergency calls, there is simply no reason to be otherwise online. If a business matter is so pressing (which does understandably happen from time to time) that a meeting participant must constantly check emails on his/her smartphone, that participant should apologize at the outset to let everyone know the situation or simply not attend the meeting. Not to do so is exceedingly rude to the meeting leader who has spent time preparing for the gathering, as well as to the other participants. While the latter may find themselves bored by the subject or the presentation, such boredom is made even worse by the lack of participation by those engaged in echatting.

    For the record, I myself am not a Luddite. I create and maintain several websites and am a smartphone nut. I find myself constantly checking my emails and Facebook page -- something that really has not added to any real productivity. I will soon be moving from my well-used MotoQ to the new Palm Pre.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT