Some people think it’s the height of rudeness when someone pulls out their smartphone to check email or send a text during a meeting. For others, it’s a habit, and nothing short of taking a call mid meeting raises an eyebrow. Which group you fall in is all about age and gender.
Men tend not to care all that much about mobile phone use in meetings, according to a new USC study highlighted by The Wall Street Journal.
The survey asked employees around the U.S. to rank the whole range of phone behaviour on how acceptable it is in formal and informal meetings, including making or answering calls, writing and sending texts or emails, checking text messages or emails, browsing the Internet, checking the time with a phone, checking incoming calls, bringing a phone to meetings, and excusing oneself to answer calls.
When compared to women, men are almost twice as likely to find things like texting or answering calls appropriate in an informal meeting:
There’s also a massive difference based on age. Young people, 94% of whom own a mobile phone, find the whole spectrum of phone behaviour more acceptable than older people, by a significant margin:
Those differences are still there, if less pronounced, for more formal meetings:
Certain parts of phone etiquette remain constant, but for younger people in particular, it’s worth taking into account the people you’re working with before making a grab for an iPhone.
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