The Land :: www.TheLandOnline.com

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
  • 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

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • 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

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • 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

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
The Land's Twitter Feed