Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

October 28, 2013

Study shows employees bothered by managers who take calls during meetings

— We all sneak a peak at text messages or emails to pass the time in boring meetings. And yet, we'd also probably all admit that we find it irritating when others do the same.

But a new study from researchers at Howard University and the University of Southern California finds big differences in who's bothered by it - and by how much. The study, published in the journal Business Communication Quarterly, asked 204 employees at an East Coast beverage distributor and 350 U.S. business professionals in a random-sample survey to weigh in on whether it bothered them if people checked their cell phones. What they found: People are particularly bothered by managers who take calls during meetings, men are nearly twice as likely as women to think it's okay to check text messages at a business lunch, and even leaving your phone out on the table can be offensive to some people.

In the first sample, the researchers asked open-ended questions and evaluated the intensity of the responses and the number of times certain behaviors were mentioned. They note that people were particularly upset when their managers took calls in front of them. Unsurprisingly, taking or making calls was cited most often as bothersome behavior. But a handful of people said they thought even bringing a phone to a meeting showed disrespect.

The second sample asked participants to say how appropriate or inappropriate different behaviors were in both formal professional meetings and offsite business lunches. Three quarters or more of the respondents said even checking for text messages was rarely or never appropriate. And more than half thought checking the time on the phone, looking to see who's call was coming in, bringing a phone to the meeting, or even excusing oneself to make a call was inappropriate in a formal meeting. At more informal lunches, those numbers dropped, but more than half still thought it was rude to look at a phone to check text messages or email; a third said the same about stepping away to answer a call.

The study gets more interesting when it compares the views of men and women and people from different regions. (Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that while about two-thirds of people under 30 approved of texting at a business lunch, just 20 percent of those between age 51 and 65 thought it was acceptable behavior.) Meanwhile, roughly half of men said it was okay to answer a call at a business lunch, but only a quarter of women said the same. As for checking text messages, more than 59 percent of men were comfortable with it at informal lunches, while just a third of women were. And interestingly, professionals in the Western region of the United States - home to Silicon Valley, Seattle tech giants and Hollywood's agents - were less accepting of phones being used during meetings than East Coasters.

The authors don't suggest why women or Westerners were more likely to consider cell phones in meetings taboo. But the paper does focus on how cell phones have contributed to an increasingly uncivil workplace. They cited a 2012 study that showed hiring managers now value courtesy even more than other traditional soft skills, like teamwork or professionalism. So leave your cell phone behind in meetings, lunches and interviews. Or at least off the table.

        

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Bill Clinton coming to eastern Kentucky to stump for Grimes

    By RONNIE ELLIS
    CNHI News Service

    GLASGOW — Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 27, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks