Call for employers to lay down law on use of mobiles in the workplace

Employers have been urged to curb the excessive use of mobile devices in the workplace, after research revealed that more than six in 10 UK workers have bad ‘mobile manners’.

A YouGov survey of more than 5,000 workers, commissioned by T-Mobile UK, reveals that 61% of respondents admit to leaving phones switched on, answering calls and sending e-mails – on devices such as the BlackBerry and laptops – during meetings.

Such bad practice is negatively affecting workers, with 17% of respondents admitting they are left feeling disrespected or ignored when others practise poor mobile manners.

The majority of respondents (87%) said they were irritated when a mobile device rings in a meeting, with 91% feeling angry if the device is answered. Four out of five office workers believe it is unacceptable to send or read a text message during a meeting.

The survey shows that workers want companies to take a role in quashing bad mobile manners, but 55% of respondents said their employer offers no guidance on the appropriate use of mobile devices in the workplace.

Phil Chapman, marketing dir-ector of T-Mobile UK, said: “It is important that, collectively, we raise etiquette standards to ensure that mobile devices enhance our working lives without impinging on them.”

The HR department should provide guidelines on the appropriate use of mobile devices in the workplace, he added.

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