The worst recession since the 1920s has not only brought economic gloom to the UK workplace, but a significant increase in bad manners and poor business etiquette, according to more than three quarters of UK business leaders questioned in a survey.
“Judging from these results, the time has come for Anti Social Boardroom Orders to be issued,” says Lesley Everett, the UK’s top Personal Branding expert, “business executives need to be knocked into shape and start realising the effect corporate bad manners are having on fellow staff and the working environment.”
In the survey conducted by Walking TALL, the UK’s leading personal branding company, two thirds of business leaders also believed that the growth in Blackberry, i-phone and other Smartphone devices has significantly contributed to this increase in bad corporate manners.
Many respondents complained of colleagues using their phone to update Facebook, play online games or even send out rude ‘tweets’ about clients or colleagues during meetings or work events.
The survey findings also highlighted a significant decline in both email and telephone etiquette with more than half the respondents saying that it was taking clients and customers much longer to respond to telephone and email messages and in many cases not responding at all.
“There appears to be a marked increase in bad manners since the start of the recession, with lots of stories of phone misuse during important meetings, telephone messages being ignored and meetings cancelled at very short notice. Rather than improving business standards during tough economic times it would appear many were actually becoming more neglectful,” said Lesley Everett, founder and CEO of Walking TALL.
More than 50% of all business leaders questioned also agreed that they had seen an increase in the number of times clients and customers cancelled meetings at very short notice. “When it comes to good manners and business etiquette, there are few faux pas worse than cancelling a meeting with little notice,” said Lesley. “It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for other peoples’ time and a huge negative layer added to your personal brand reputation”. One of the survey respondents had even flown all the way from London to LA for a 1.5 hour client meeting only to learn that the person who had requested the meeting would not attend and could only telephone call into the meeting.”