Survey: Workplace Technology Rudeness Rampant

September 16, 2004 ( - Technologically boorish behavior abounds these days more than ever before, according to a new survey of technology officials.

The Robert Half Technology poll of chief information officers (CIO) found that 67% say breaches of technology etiquette are more common than three years ago, a SmartPros report said. A quarter said the problem has been constant and 8% said it has actually improved.

Asked to count the ways the technology boors annoy workplace colleagues during meetings these days:

  • 88% feel it is inappropriate to leave on a cell phone ringer
  • 80% say sending instant messages to others is a definite “don’t.”
  • 79% frown on sending and replying to e-mail when a meeting is in session
  • 65% consider it poor etiquette to work on personal computers while others have the floor.

Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, offered tips for avoiding the technology blunders:

  • Unless you need to be reached urgently, turn off your phone or set it on vibrate mode before every meeting.
  • Refrain from discussing sensitive or personal matters using e-mail and instead reserve these discussions for face-to-face meetings when recipients can be sure of your intended meaning.
  • Make sure your responses to e-mails are sent to only those people who require follow up.
  • Don’t take pictures unless there is a business need and you have permission from colleagues.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from US companies with 100 or more employees.