As technology becomes more ingrained in our lives, it’s time to relook workplace etiquette relating to the use of digital gadgets and online technologies such as blogs and social networking sites.
Put your phone on vibrate or silent mode
Most of us cannot live without our beloved mobile phones. If you have to leave it on at work, it’s good manners not to disturb your colleagues with the “Theme from Star Wars” blaring at maximum volume whenever your phone rings. Afraid to miss a call? Choose a more neutral ringtone which is less likely to offend anyone.
Don't answer calls in the toilet
I have personally heard conversations carried out in the cubicle next to mine in the office toilet. I’m not sure how the other person on the line feels about hearing the background sounds of flushing toilets and running taps while talking. There is also no privacy as I cannot help but hear the conversation even though I don’t want to.
Don’t shout over the phone
Respect your colleagues’ personal space and don’t shout over the phone. If you have to speak very loudly, step out of the office to somewhere you can be alone. And should the conversation be of a private nature, do the same. You don’t need the entire office to know that you’re trying to patch up with your partner after a big fight.
Take your headphones off while talking
While it’s polite to keep your music to yourself, that pair of earphones inadvertently serves as a “do not disturb” sign to others. Take them off if a colleague approaches your desk to talk to you. Removing only one side implies that you hope the conversation will end quickly, or that the person is not important enough to warrant your full attention.
Don’t take your gadgets to meetings
It’s your presence that’s required – not your mobile phone or Blackberry. Unless you need to show your colleagues a text message or an e-mail as part of the meeting agenda, keep your hands off the device. Need to answer an urgent call or mail? Let the others know that you’ll have to step out for a while and do it outside.
Don't mix your private and professional lives online
Respect your fellow workers’ privacy if you’re planning to upload photos on social networking sites or update your personal blog with an entry that concerns them. Consider anything you post on cyberspace as public, because some people might be able to bypass the security setting. And don’t get yourself into trouble by uploading photos of yourself sunbathing at the beach when you’re supposed to be on sick leave.