As I anxiously await my new iPhone 6 (which should be arriving today), I was reminded of an article I had seen several months ago on  The article, entitled “Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings” reported on some interesting research conducted by the University of California’s Marshall School of Business.

The key findings were not surprising.  Well, maybe not surprising to me as I do a lot of employee training and speaking engagements and have a special sympathy for anyone trying to capture the attention of people glued to their smartphones.

20102681_sThe key findings:

•86% think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during formal meetings

•84% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during formal meetings

•75% think it’s inappropriate to read texts or emails during formal meetings

•66% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during any meetings

•At least 22% think it’s inappropriate to use phones during any meetings

The interesting (although not surprising) point to me is that opinions varied greatly by age.  Millennials were three times less likely to think it was inappropriate to check text messages in emails in informal meetings.  I can imagine this being a bone of contention for those older employees who believe this is inappropriate and how this issue could quickly devolve into an “age” issue.

What do you think? Should employers ban smartphone use in meetings?


  • HumanTouchTransaltions

    Before the age of mobile phones, meetings were held without interruptions. Occasionally, an assistant might quietly bring a small piece of paper to the, the most senior person in the room who might excuse himself, or provide instructiosn to the assistant. Respect and paying attention were the norm, although in long meetings or if boredom were to set in, doodling on the notepad usually took place. Some may think that texting is no more than doodling on their phone, but the fact is that much more attention is paid to doodling andof course both are rude. In my opinion, people shouldn’t be checking messages, writing mails or texting during meetings. Not only is it disrespectful to those paying attention, if often leads to repetition of the subject matter when those distracted by their phones need clairifcation in order to participate.

  • rcohenfox