10:09 am - Tuesday December 12, 2017

Women twice as likely as men to be offended by smartphone use in workplace

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Women twice as likely as men to be offended by smartphone use in workplace
Women twice as likely as men to be offended by smartphone use in workplace

Washington – A new study of business etiquette and smartphones has shown that mobile manners vary by gender, suggesting that women are twice as likely as men to be offended by smartphone use during professional engagements.

The study by co-authored by Peter W. Cardon of the USC Marshall School of Business and colleagues at Howard University suggested that discourteous behaviour in the workplace can have real implications for careers, hiring and even workplace efficiency, with tension among co-workers harming productivity.

“Hiring managers often cite courtesy as among the most important soft skills they notice. By focusing on civility, young people entering the workforce may be able to set themselves apart,” Cardon said.

It was found that three out of four people said checking texts or emails was unacceptable behaviour in business meetings, while 87 percent of respondents said answering a call was rarely or never acceptable in business meetings.

Even at more informal business lunches, the majority of people thought writing a text message is rude with 66 percent saying writing or sending a text message is inappropriate.

Men were nearly twice as likely as women to consider mobile phone use at a business lunch acceptable. More than 59 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch, compared to 34 percent of women who thought checking texts was appropriate.

Similarly, 50 percent of men said it was acceptable to answer a call at a power lunch, compared to 26 percent of women.

The study also found that higher-income professionals had less tolerance for smartphone use in business meetings and younger professionals were nearly three times as likely as older professionals to think tapping out a message over a business lunch is appropriate.

The study is published in journal Business Communication Quarterly.

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