The E-Leash: Wireless And Worry Free
So long to the days of the corporate e-leash. No longer are employees stressed by their wireless devices and made to feel harnessed by too much connectivity. According to Yahoo! HotJobs’ (http://hotjobs.yahoo.com) annual virtual workplace survey, 37 percent of employees feel more relaxed than stressed when they are connected to work by a wireless device, and another 42 percent are altogether indifferent to their wireless device, feeling neither relaxed nor stressed by it.
Along with the widespread acceptance of wireless devices may come a lapse in proper etiquette. Of those surveyed, 18 percent admit to being reprimanded for having bad manners when it comes to their wireless device. This behavior extends in and out of work with another 39 percent saying that they respond almost instantaneously when they receive a professional email or call outside of business hours.
“The gravity of leaving the house without your wireless device has become synonymous with that of leaving your keys at home, if not worse,” explains Tom Musbach, managing editor of Yahoo! HotJobs. “As the wireless device becomes more ubiquitous for personal and professional reasons, many employees develop a psychological need for constant connection. While this connection can be a positive from a professional standpoint, it’s important to remember that the use of wireless devices needs to be managed and certain missteps avoided.”
Boardroom Security Blanket
With 38 percent of respondents describing their wireless device as a necessity, these gadgets have become exponentially more integrated into workplace culture:
- The majority, 55 percent, of respondents use more than one wireless device to stay connected when outside of work;
- More than half, 55 percent, of respondents say that their office supports a virtual workplace culture – allowing employees to choose from where they’d like to work;
- Almost one in three, 28 percent, of respondents say that having the freedom of remote access via a wireless device helps them work more effectively than when they are in the office; and
- Almost one quarter of survey respondents admit to only putting their wireless device down when they are sleeping, and only 5 percent of respondents admit to being 100 percent offline when not in the office—down from 8 percent last year.
Disconnect: Wireless Faux Pas
As wireless devices become further cemented into corporate culture, a spectrum of acceptable and unacceptable behavior has emerged:
Inappropriate wireless device etiquette (in order of least to most reprehensible):
- Answering a work call or email during personal time after work hours
- Talking on the phone while in close quarters (e.g. train, plane, bus)
- Talking on the phone while in the bathroom
- Answering the phone or emails while at a business dinner
- Accepting a personal call while in a meeting or presentation
Keep Your Device in Check
Moderation is key. Here are a few tips from Yahoo! HotJobs’ Tom Musbach for keeping your wireless device habits within bounds:
- Keep your device on vibrate to avoid interrupting others near your workspace.
- Take personal and any other conversations that might make your coworkers uncomfortable into a conference room or other closed off area to avoid being overheard. Only answer absolutely necessary calls when in close quarters.
- Don’t interrupt business meetings or dinners with calls or emails unless it is an emergency.
- Use text messaging and emailing when possible—it’s less intrusive.
- Let the person you are communicating with know that you are on a wireless device and that the conversation must be kept brief.
- Some buildings don’t allow wireless device use. Adhere to the signs and be respectful of the surrounding environment.
For more advice on making your wireless workplace work for you and other tools for managing your career, visit Yahoo! HotJobs at http://hotjobs.yahoo.com.