Do you follow phone etiquette at work? For many, the answer is no. Everyone knows that they should not talk on their cell phone when in the presence of others, but there are other times when this can be tempting. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when to practice proper phone etiquette at work: DO turn your ringer off or vibrate silent. Remember that you share a room with many others, so don't keep your cell phone on silent during meetings when you should be calling them.
DON'T take calls while in the break area or at your lunch break. When taking calls during your break or lunch hour, it's considered rude if the other party hasn't called yet. This applies to children as well as co-workers. DO allow others to use the restroom during breaks and lunch if appropriate. Again, it's considered rude to sit quietly with a call waiting to be placed.
DON'T use your smartphone or intercom to take calls in meetings or in the office cafeteria. While these devices can be helpful for keeping the flow of a meeting or in a classroom, using a smartphone in these situations is considered distracting and impolite. DO allow others to use the speakerphone and call through if possible. DO turn down calls from people you don't recognize or don't remember having a conversation with, as this is considered rude. DO not leave a phone number that you don't recognize on your phone.
DO avoid using social media while at work. Although it's widely accepted that social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare are a great way to stay connected with friends and family, using them to make business phone calls is considered invasive and rude. Doing so could also lead to legal trouble, fines, and other repercussions. However, this doesn't mean that the use of social media should be entirely avoided at all costs. Using the internet in a professional environment can be a powerful tool to help grow your business and provide you with customers and clients. As long as these tools are used properly and in an appropriate fashion, they can be quite useful for business owners.
Workplace phone etiquette can include not answering your phone when it rings or picking up the receiver. Instead, simply pick up the receiver, wait for the person to finish asking their question, and then answer with professionalism and formality. If the person isn't clear about leaving a message or caller, politely ask them to do so. Don't hang up on the line until they've spoken to you. If they call later that day, let them know you've received their call and that you're available to take their call when they come by.
Another important part of having good phone etiquette at work is maintaining a friendly tone. If you don't feel the person on the other end of the line is being professional and making you feel comfortable, politely advise them to speak with someone else. Letting your tone take the place of talking will likely result in a negative conversation and nothing good will come out of it. It's much better to have a conversation than to get on a bad hair-raising topic right away and lose a client.
The most important thing to remember about having good phone etiquette at work is that you must never refuse to speak to a caller. If you're busy and in a meeting, it may seem like you don't have the time to return phone calls, but this could be costing you money by making you late for work. You always have the option to talk to the caller after they hung up on you, but that also allows you to be distracted from your work situation. It's better to politely refuse the call, then try to explain your busy schedule to the caller later on.
One of the most annoying aspects of having poor phone etiquette at work is answering voicemail. Some people tend to leave voicemail when they are not even sure if they left a message or not. This can result in wasted minutes, which can lead to even more calls from angry callers. You may want to save your messages from voicemail and delete them from your phone when you no longer need to have contact with people that called you. It's just good manners to let people know you're doing your best to manage your time and avoid unnecessary calls.