Cell Phone Etiquette at Work: Basic Rules - Growth Freaks

Cell Phone Etiquette at Work: Basic Rules

Cellphone etiquette - white hand holding a phone

Cell phones have become an integral part of our business lives and not only. They represent a great help, making us keep in touch with family, friends, coworkers or customers. However, there are times when it’s not okay to use them. Today we will show you a couple of rules regarding cell phone etiquette at work.

Cell Phone Etiquette at Work – Dos and Donts

1. Do Focus on the Person You’re Talking to

It’s very rude to let your interlocutor speaking and focus on your smartphone. If you’re not sure if it’s the right moment to answer a call, ask yourself what impression are you making when you divert your attention to the phone.

2. Don’t Place It on the Table

Whenever you’re having a business lunch, don’t take out the mobile phone and place it on the table. It may seem useful to do so, but its place is in the jacket, handbag or briefcase. Moreover, you should answer it only if it’s a truly urgent matter and try to keep it as short as possible.

3. Do Set a Professional Ring Tone

Yes, we know you may like Rihanna’s latest song, but is that a professional ring tone? Choose one that is neutral. After all, its only purpose is to draw your attention to the item. It shouldn’t be mentioned, but one of the most important parts of cell phone etiquette at work is not having obscene lyrics.

4. Don’t Read Under the Table

One way of avoiding the etiquette is to set the phone on silent during meetings, but reading under the table. Some people think it’s excusable if they solve work emails, but the truth is it’s not. This can be interpreted as you not caring about the current meeting, the discussion or the person who’s talking at the moment. So, don’t do it unless you’re sure you want to convey these messages.

5. Do Take Personal Calls in Private

We’re pretty sure not everybody in the office wants to hear about your personal problems. Besides being rude, it is also very distracting and annoying for all the coworkers who are trying to work. Go to a private location or an empty conference room if you really need to take that call right then. Which leads us to…

6. Don’t Go to the Restroom

Even if it’s a private place, you’re not the only one using the restroom. You don’t know who might hear your entire conversation. And this is especially important if you’re discussing delicate issues with the company or your coworkers. Confidential information should never be discussed in such a place.


Even though the cell phone has become an indispensable part of our lives, we should pay attention to some basic rules when it comes to cell phone etiquette at work. There are some simple tips, such as don’t take calls when you’re engaged in a conversation with somebody or in the middle of a meeting. Ideally, your phone should be stored away, and the golden rule here is not to bother anybody when talking on it.

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Author: Amanda Knowles