February 27, 2011
Are you a digital drag at work?
[Photo by Paul Keller]
In a poll of 650 North American HR professionals conducted by staffing firm Robert Half, 76 percent said that technological missteps at the office can sour your professional reputation, whether you're on staff or on an interview.
This is hardly a surprise. For the past decade, we've been hearing about workers who've been reprimanded, fired, or passed over for a job because they posted something they shouldn't have on the Internet. But as we all know, there are many more ways to breach the rules of digital etiquette in the workplace.
Robert Half, which recently released the free, downloadable guide Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age, lists the following as the top five tech offenders at the office:
The Noise Polluter. You have the most irritating ringtone known to humankind, you get a dozen-plus personal calls during the workday, and you answer them all at your desk -- loudly. Two suggestions for you: use your phone's silent mode, and if you must gab on the job, do it somewhere private.
The Pop-Up Artist. Your colleagues can always count on you -- to interrupt them with non-urgent instant messages and texts throughout the day. If you don't need an answer this second, save your questions for email.
The Cryptic Communicator. No one can understand a word you type because you've disregarded all use of punctuation and even your shorthand is in shorthand. Spend an extra 30 seconds fleshing out and proofreading your emails, IMs, and texts, and you'll avoid having to explain yourself later.
The Conference Call Con. Most of us are probably guilty of emailing or IMing our way through a dull conference call from time to time. (Another Robert Half poll found that 45 percent of executives multitask during meetings.) Rather than get caught not paying attention, limit meeting multitasking to physical tasks and short increments (tips here).
The Venter. Whether you're kvetching about your crappy day at the office or your miserable excuse for a boss, venting about work on your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter stream could come back to bite you in the rump.
To Robert Half's list I'll add my own recommendation for top tech offender:
The Meeting Mangler. Nothing makes you look quite as unprepared to lead a meeting as a slide deck or demo that won't load. Before presenting, make sure you do a dry run in the appointed meeting room. Even then, have a plan B in case technology fails you mid-meeting.
How about you? Which tech gaffes at the office are the quickest to sour your impression of a colleague?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
- career profile (156)
- cool jobs (55)
- education and training (60)
- entry level (66)
- etiquette (97)
- events (70)
- featured (346)
- finding your passion (90)
- health care (71)
- interviewing (82)
- job fairs (54)
- management (78)
- market trends (89)
- networking (264)
- resumes (97)
- salary (81)
- social media (83)
- technology (106)
- unemployment (55)
- work/life balance (87)