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You are annoying your boss and co-workers any time you take your phone out at meetings, according to oopsresearch from USC’s Marshall School of Business. In fact, 86% of respondents to the survey think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during meetings.

The study also found that Millennials are three times more likely than those over 40 to think that smartphone use during meetings is okay, which is ironic considering Millennials are highly dependent upon the opinions of their older colleagues for career advancement.

Why do so many people find smartphone use in meetings to be inappropriate? When you take out your phone it shows:

* Lack of respect. You are showing that you consider the caller to be more important than the conversation at hand, and you view people outside of the meeting to be more important than those sitting right in front of you.

* Lack of attention and self-control. You are unable to stay focused on one thing at a time. You respond to the whims of others through the buzz of your phone.

* Lack of social awareness. You don’t understand how your behavior affects those around you.

The following are additional blunders in “tech-etiquette”:

* The distractor. This person may have good intentions in setting his/her phone to vibrate rather than torturing colleagues with a cheesy ringtone, but hearing it repeatedly buzz loudly on a desktop or during a meeting can be just as distracting. A better solution: Set the phone to silent or keep it in your pocket.

* The misguided multi-tasker. This goes back to the lack of respect mentioned earlier. The “misguided multi-tasker” thinks that texting or emailing during a meeting or conversation demonstrates efficiency. But others may regard it as a sign that this individual prizes his/her smartphone more than the company they keep.

handsMoral of the story: Unless you want to create potential animosity at work, use your handheld device only in an urgent situation and even then, step out of the room to reply. Your colleagues will appreciate it, and you’ll come across as more professional.

This post was compiled from articles by authors Kevin Kruse and Travis Bradberry, and from Robert Half Technology.

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