Technology etiquette can impact career: Survey

Breaches around email, online comments, BlackBerry use
||Last Updated: 02/25/2011

Workplace blunders — such as sending email messages to unintended recipients or checking a BlackBerry during a meeting — have their consequences, according to a survey by Robert Half International. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of 250 HR managers in Canada and the United States said technology etiquette breaches can affect a person's career prospects — though 23 per cent said these mistakes have no impact.

"Etiquette breaches, such as paying more attention to your smartphone than the people you're meeting with, can make others feel less important and cause you to miss information," said Brett Good, senior district president of Robert Half International, which has released the guide Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age.

"Other mistakes, such as sending a confidential email to the wrong person or impulsively posting an offensive comment on Facebook or Twitter, can have more serious, career-impacting consequences."

The top five technology etiquette breaches are seen with people who:

• vent frustrations with work on Facebook, Twitter or in personal blogs or emails

• talk loudly on the phone or in conversations with co-workers

• use shorthand, informal abbreviations or poor punctuation in correspondence

• send constant instant messages that interrupt workflow

• multi-task during meetings or conference calls and lose focus.

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