Are you one among those, who check their emails and SMSes during office meetings? Do you pay more attention to the device in hand, rather than the meeting agenda? Then watch out. You may be termed as an employee with poor office etiquette.
According to a recent study, offices and corporates are concerned about office etiquette among employees. Irked by their behaviour, the management has even started reprimanding the employees indulging in poor office etiquette.
“Doing two things at a time, not only affects productivity but also results in more errors and ultimately, one ends up learning nothing. The management is also at the receiving end as it incurs loss due to the callous attitude of employees,” grouses Rakesh Kumar, HR manager of a private concern.
People who text message, when they should be concentrating on the meeting are engaged in what is known as counter-productive behaviour, claim management experts. “This includes fiddling with the mobile phone, playing games on the Internet and showing up late for meetings. Poor behaviour like SMSing during meetings, can also fragment your attention span and thus affect productivity,” adds Rakesh.
So, where does the problem lie? Why do employees indulge in such activities? It seems the lack of interest is the main reason to do so. “Lack of interest in what they are supposed to be doing is one reason. And some of them see nothing wrong in such a behaviour,” says Satish Kumar, a management student.
“The problem is that most of the employees do not have good exposure to basic etiquette. As employees come from different walks of life, it’s important that they learn these basic courtesies,” briefs Bindiya Bhalla, soft skills trainer.
Seconding her thoughts is grooming consultant Naina Chandani. “The best option is to give the agenda of the meeting to the employees beforehand. They should also be instructed about the code of conduct and the dos and don’ts. This will not only keep the employees informed, but also prepare them for office and formal meetings.”
According to Bindiya, the best way to prevent these kind of issues is to educate the employees.
“Soft skills training should be incorporated in the orientation programme for the employees. The employees should be trained in such a way that they get well accustomed to the office culture. Employees, on the other hand, can ask their colleagues or friends to pinpoint their mistakes, so that they can learn from them,” says Bindiya.
So, the next time you pick up the mobile phone to send an SMS to your friend or forward an email on your Blackberry, think again. You may be termed as an employee with inappropriate manners.