Staying connected is an important part of today's workplace. Supervisors, clients and coworkers all expect to be able to reach you for questions, project updates and work emergencies. Keeping your phone out and visible at all times is a good way to stay connected to your office, but it is also distracting and bad for productivity. Luckily, there are ways to keep your phone in your bag and still stay connected.
Good smartphone etiquette means knowing when to keep your phone out and when to put it away. Each company often creates its own form of internal phone etiquette. For example, some businesses encourage smartphone use during meetings while others prohibit it.
Start your plan to keep your phone in your bag by taking stock of your company's policy and attitude towards smartphones. If your company expects your phone to be out and visible during the work day, it is best to follow that policy. However, few companies truly mandate this rule. Instead, it's the staff who assume that smartphones must always be visible.
Try checking your smartphone after you arrive at work and then putting your phone in your bag until lunch. Keep the ringer on if you are afraid of missing important calls or texts. With your phone put away but the ringer still on, you stay connected to important phone calls and texts without getting distracted every time your phone blinks with a new Facebook message or personal email.
Consider going one step further and setting up customized ringtones for important supervisors or family members. That way, when your phone rings, you know immediately whether to pick it up or keep your phone in your bag. If ringtones are too loud for your office, set up customized vibration patterns. Then keep your phone in your bag and only take it out for calls and messages from the most important people in your life.
Use additional smartphone hacks to keep your smartphone in your bag but stay connected, such as wearing a watch so you do not rely on your phone to tell the time. If you find yourself feeling anxious about missing important messages, set up a timer on your work computer so you check your phone every hour or every 90 minutes. Once you've checked your phone, it goes back into your bag.
After you leave work, try to keep your phone in your bag as much as possible. Keep your phone out to coordinate evening plans with friends and family, then practice good smartphone etiquette by putting your phone away while you enjoy dinner or other evening plans. Separating work life from personal life improves both your relationships and your health. By putting your smartphone away, you are more present with family and friends and even get better sleep.
If you have a job that requires 24/7 connection, use the tips above, such as customized ringtones and only checking your smartphone once each hour, to keep in touch with your office while still maintaining a work-life balance.
Learn how to stay connected while keeping your phone out of sight, and your productivity, relationships, stress levels and sleep all improve. The more you learn how to keep your phone in your bag while staying connected, the happier your life becomes.
(Photo courtesy of chaiwat / freedigitalphotos.net)