Smartphones have opened many doors for modern business professionals – from securing deals while sitting on the sofa at home, to sending last-minute emails while traveling home from the office. Many of us will also use smartphones to take notes during business meetings, but recent research has shown that – despite the added convenience – the presence of our smartphones may not be as well received as we would have thought.
Smartphones in Meetings are Frowned Upon
Recent research by the University of California’s Marshall School of Business has measured the attitudes of successful businessmen and women on the use of smartphones and other electronic devices during meetings. Despite the ease and convenience which these devices have given us for note taking and research, the study found that these successful individuals do not generally approve of the use of phones and tablets in important meetings.
The research targeted 554 individuals, each earning over $30,000 while working full-time at companies with more than 50 employees. The study found that 84% of participants deemed it inappropriate to send text messages or emails during a formal meeting, with 75% feeling the same towards reading them. Furthermore, at least 22% considered it inappropriate to use a phone for any reason during a meeting of any kind.
A lack of Respect, Attention and Power
There were also several justifications given for these statistics. Respondents felt that whatever the smartphone was being used for, its presence demonstrated a lack of respect – as if the screen was more important than the meeting itself. On top of this, smartphone use was seen as a sign of inattentiveness, and the inability to stay focused on one item at a time. What’s more, if an employee is using a smartphone to communicate, are they essentially at the beck and call of others? If so, do they really possess the same drive and self-determination to succeed in a competitive business environment?
Journals and Notebooks as An Alternative
With this case study in mind, it would appear that using a smartphone in a meeting could seriously jeopardize the career prospects of young businesspeople. Perhaps this is why old-fashioned journals and notebooks have begun to make a comeback in the workplace. With no text messages, social networking or games to distract, a simple notebook allows employees to make notes without the risk of backlash from senior employees – whether or not they were actually staying on task.
Businesses can also encourage this change by purchasing their own personalized notebooks and journals, complete with the company logo and color scheme. These can be handed out to employees, helping them to work to the best of their abilities without the risk of distractions or time-wasting. And what’s more, a wide range of styles are available from promotional product suppliers like Wearable Imaging – from spiral bound recycled notebooks to small PVC-covered pads – ensuring that there will be a product to match every possible budget and brand identity.