Talking on the phone is expected in some workplaces where it’s required, but you don’t need to be heard from the other side of the building. Whether you have to speak with clients or answer personal calls, there’s a set of rules that you need to follow to make sure you’re not disturbing everyone else’s work. That is, of course, unless you would love to become the biggest distraction in the office.
If you want to practice proper phone etiquette while at work, then have a look at these five highly useful tips.
1. Put Your Phone on Silent
It goes without saying that you’ll need to put your phone on silent if you work in an open-space office. It’s annoying enough for colleagues to have to hear your phone go off when you’re in the office, so imagine what it’s like having to go through the same torture when you’re away from your desk and there’s no one around to answer the call. If you know you’re going to be busy and won’t be able to take the call, just let the voicemail feature do it for you.
2. Don’t Take Your Phone in Meetings
Even when you have to talk to a client, avoid taking your phone into a meeting. You will need to dedicate your full attention to what your colleagues and boss are saying, so avoid the temptation of answering phone calls at least until the meeting has finished. If you happen to be waiting for an important call, you should forget all about texting, scrolling through your emails, or checking your Facebook page while in a meeting – it will only make you look unprofessional and people will think that they aren’t important to you, effectively damaging your business relationships.
3. Speak Quietly
When you speak quietly, you show that you respect other peoples’ work. If you can’t leave your desk, and your colleagues are around, try speaking quietly and, whatever the case, don’t shout. This will no doubt frustrate those you work with, and could even put unnecessary pressure on them. Remember that the only person that needs to hear you loud and clear is the person on the other end of the line – not the rest of the office.
4. Go Somewhere Private
Although you shouldn’t be receiving personal calls at work, it’s quite understandable that life will get in the way one way or another. If it is absolutely necessary that you take the call, make sure that you go to a private location where other people can’t hear you. That’s because discussing personal matters can distract your colleagues from their work, and it is just plainly rude. You can either go to an empty conference room or to the restroom. You choose.
5. Have a Professional Ringtone
If your job description says that you need to be talking to clients on the phone, then that’s exactly what you are going to be doing. But since your cell phone is probably going to ring every two minutes, you might want to change your ringtone from Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” to something a little more professional. Even though I’m sure your colleagues will find it entertaining, you still have a professional image to maintain.
Whether you have to answer a personal call or speak with a client, this is the phone etiquette you need to keep to, especially if you are based in an open office environment.
So, how many of these rules do you follow? Do you have a colleague who does the complete opposite? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!