ESTIMATED READING TIME: 3 MINUTES
Office technology has grown far beyond the standard desk set up of your computer, printer and phone. We’re working with desk tops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, multifunctional printers — the list goes on. And when you are constantly connected to your tech, it’s easy to lose touch and forget what is ok and what isn’t. So, here are some tech etiquette tips you need to know when you’re working in an office.
Using your Mobile Phone
With mobile phones, there is often noise on one end or the other, meaning there’s really no avoiding talking a little louder than usual. If you are taking a phone call on your mobile phone in the office, tech etiquette suggests that you keep the call short and move to an area where you are not disturbing your co-workers. In reality, your best option is to take the call on a landline, which will mean better quality and less shouting into the phone.
Charging your devices
If there is a device already charging someone, it is bar etiquette to unplug without permission. You are a busy person and will likely forget to plug the device back in later. You wouldn’t want to find yourself with a dead battery when you are on the road, and neither would your colleagues. Simply ask if you can swap out the charging device or find another plug.
Using your laptop in meetings
When you are in a meeting, it is best to keep your laptop use to a minimum. If using your laptop benefits the meeting, no problem — otherwise keep it closed and avoid distractions. Chances are, if your laptop is open, you will start checking your email or working on other tasks.
Using the office printer
Printer etiquette is two-fold. First, printer supplies. If you are the one to use the last of the toner, ink or paper, do not leave it for someone else to replace. And if you empty the stock cupboard, let the person responsible for ordering supplies know immediately. Better yet, when you notice things are getting low, a preemptive email will definitely be appreciated.
Second, if you are sending a large print job to the printer that will send everyone else into a backlog, there are a few solutions. If your office has more than one printer, print on the machine that is less frequently used. If you’ve only got one printer available, send your print job at a time that no one will mind, like right before everyone goes for lunch so it can run while the office is empty. And of course, always warn your co-workers before you send a big file to the printer.
Remember, you see your co-workers every day, and you don’t want to be “that guy.” Be polite when it comes to tech use and your work environment will be a happy place.