×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the why-can't-you-play-angry-birds-like-everyone-else dept.

Businesses 453

RichDiesal writes "In an upcoming article in Business Communication Quarterly, researchers found that more than half of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to read texts during formal business meetings, whereas only 16% of workers 40+ believe the same thing. 34% of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to answer the phone in the middle of a meeting (i.e., not excusing yourself to answer the phone — answering and talking mid-meeting!). It is unclear if this is happening because more younger workers grew up with mobile technology, or if it's because older workers have the experience to know that answering a call in the middle of a meeting is a terrible idea. So if you're a younger worker, consider leaving your phone alone in meetings to avoid annoying your coworkers. And if you're an older worker annoyed at what you believe to be rude behavior, just remember, it's not you – it's them!"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

453 comments

Bring on the wearable interfaces. (1, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#45302537)

Then people can answer calls/check facebook/play minesweeper during meetings without being noticed.

Re:Bring on the wearable interfaces. (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 months ago | (#45302635)

Do 20-somethings even know what minesweeper is?

Re:Bring on the wearable interfaces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303045)

Of course, it ruined the childhood for some of us.

Re:Bring on the wearable interfaces. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302673)

This already happens in any meeting that doesn't ban laptops. Is the exact same thing to be answering emails as sending texts, assuming you at least have the new text chime turned off.

Kids today... (2, Funny)

ThomasBHardy (827616) | about 5 months ago | (#45302555)

Kids today got respect!

Oh and GET OFF MY LAWN!

Hey wait, can you come back and show me how this new phone works?

I call BS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302557)

Most of upper management is on their crackberry when anything remotely technical pops up in a meeting.

Re:I call BS (4, Insightful)

SpaceGhost (23971) | about 5 months ago | (#45302787)

I have to agree. Very few meetings would keep me from monitoring my email, being a tech lead you have to keep on top of things, and the excuse "well,I was in a meeting" means nothing if the department has lost connectivity. Monitoring or responding to social communications is not included, and even a call from the CEO would be taken outside the room. The balance is are you being responsive to your positions demands vs. ignoring them and being involved in non-work conversations, while being able to participate in the meeting so as to contribute as appropriate and retain or record information as needed.

Re:I call BS (2)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about 5 months ago | (#45302981)

Yes. I attended meetings of the board of directors and it's normal behaviour to text. Detail, the average age of this board is above 40.

If you answer a call, it better be important but people will understand

Re:I call BS (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#45303037)

Most of upper management is on their crackberry when anything remotely technical pops up in a meeting.

And there is nothing wrong with that. Checking their messages should not bother anyone else, so if they are not getting anything from the discussion, at least they are getting something else productive done. Even better is to have a policy that anyone can excuse themselves from a meeting anytime they have nothing to contribute or gain from staying. If you are talking in a meeting, and you notice lots of people checking their phones, maybe you should stop droning on and learn to be more concise.

Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (3, Insightful)

gauauu (649169) | about 5 months ago | (#45302571)

Maybe the young kids have just figured out what the older generations haven't, which is that meetings are often a life-draining waste of time? They could be answering their phones in passive-aggressive protest of being locked up wasting their time in a conference room. </snark>

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302655)

"Meeting" is the antonym of "work"

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302911)

Which is why I've grown to love them in certain situations

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (5, Insightful)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 5 months ago | (#45302661)

They are only a waste of time because of people who arrive late, do not prepare, and spend too much time babbling about stuff that is unimportant.

Meeting can and should be about collaboration, with group participation, and getting something done. If you can not get that out of a meeting, fire the participants.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 months ago | (#45302703)

No meetings are about powerpoint, useless droning on and wasting everyone's time. Meetings are the alternative to work for the people who schedule them.

None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302811)

Good meetings and committees have a good chairperson.

A good chairperson makes achievable goals, gives out assignments, and keeps discussions on task. He or she checks that assignments are done and makes reports of progress with measurable results.

A bad chairperson lets participants ramble and never checks to see that anyone accomplishes anything.

So when you say you go to bad meetings, what you're saying is that you have a bad chairperson.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#45302859)

If a particular meeting is a waste of your time... don't go!

If you're spending time in meetings that are of no value to you and your work and you haven't pushed back, that's your fault.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45303065)

Yeah, but then you have "stakeholders" complaining to your manger that you're not reporting to their meetings, where they ask you one yes/no question after 30 minutes of talking about things unrelated to your job. If you got a choice between getting things done and not getting fired, you're going to choose the latter.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (5, Insightful)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 5 months ago | (#45302867)

Ever hear the phrase 'the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing' ?

Something tells me you are an expert at it's implementation.

Nothing of any significance gets built without chopping it up into smaller pieces and distributing the work. If you think that it is magically going to work together you are crazy. Smart meetings are the ones that pick the leaders and allow them to discuss and agree on an approach.

I will agree dragging some low life insignificant code writer into them is probably a waste of everyone's time. It is more often done to try and prevent them from whining about how something was decided on later. "Who's the idiot that came up with this?" - harder to say that when you were involved. The point being if you are dragged into a meeting, it is probably because you are a 'leader' or a 'whiner'. At least that has been my experience.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 months ago | (#45302915)

I would fall into the leader role, and again "none of us is as dumb as all of us". Good leadership is always better than trying to get everyone to agree on a plan, that plan will suck.

My experience is that someone who makes assumptions like you just did is probably a blowhard who wastes others time with meetings because he needs to appear busy.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303077)

The cynicism is strong with this one.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 5 months ago | (#45302933)

If you can not get that out of a meeting, fire the participants.

I think my boss would be angry if I fired him. :-(

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302723)

Best use of one of these was by a guy I knew he was in his 50s.

Meeting is going on everyone is intently listening (or at least looking that way). He is busy scratching at his ipaq 'taking notes' as that is what we usually used them for. Suddenly he lets out a 'yes!' and a hand pump. He had finished his game of solitaire.

Meetings usually have 3 uses. 1) tell some group of people something 2) show off what you know 3) figure something out. Many times they are in category 2 and 1 can become 2 very quickly.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302923)

Maybe the kids haven't figured out that you don't have to attend every meeting you are invited to. If you're not contributing to the meeting and not interested enough to listen then you shouldn't have accepted the invitation. If you don't know why you're invited, ask the inviter. Grow a spine.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302945)

If you want other people to take you seriously you have to be engaged in what THEY are saying before you can proceed to make your case. Meetings, even bad ones, are a great place to build your leadership skills and add serious credibility to yourself to whoever is in the meeting, be it coworkers, a client, customers, etc. The content of a meeting shouldn't change how you lead or carry yourself.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302957)

Maybe the young kids have just figured out what the older generations haven't, which is that meetings are often a life-draining waste of time? They could be answering their phones in passive-aggressive protest of being locked up wasting their time in a conference room. </snark>

Strange conclusion for the report given my first-hand observations that a significant percentage of the middle-age workforce regularly read and reply to email and text messages while attending meetings. The youngsters are not special gems spawned from their mother's and presumably their father's genitals. As usual they are late to the party but think they are avante garde.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (1)

pelirojatica (533396) | about 5 months ago | (#45303001)

I agree that meetings are a time-suck (for everyone but salespeople, who seem to thrive on that bullshit).

But, I also think that humans in physical proximity should have precedence over humans not in proximity. That's in business meetings, at the dinner table, while driving, while walking, or just about any other time.

OK, now get off my lawn, there are clouds that need to be yelled at.

Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303007)

Maybe the young kids have just figured out what the older generations haven't, which is that meetings are often a life-draining waste of time? They could be answering their phones in passive-aggressive protest of being locked up wasting their time in a conference room. </snark>

I see.

Care to tell me what their excuse is for the other 23 hours of the day when they're still acting like rude, disrespectful fucktards who consider rules like the Golden Rule a form of discrimination?

Nice try, but the ignorance here with basic formalities in public (like eye contact, or STFU once in a while and listen) are completely foreign to most under the age of 30.

And using technology as the excuse is like waiving a pack of condoms in front of a rapist. Don't expect it to fix the underlying issue.

Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302577)

Who does this? 27 year old here. If one of my employees did this during a meeting with me I would say something like, "Excuse me, was my meeting interrupting your important phone conversation? Perhaps we can reschedule the meeting around your social life. Would 8PM suit you?" (sarcastically)

Re:Wtf? (2, Interesting)

arisvega (1414195) | about 5 months ago | (#45302719)

Who does this? 27 year old here. If one of my employees did this during a meeting with me I would say something like, "Excuse me, was my meeting interrupting your important phone conversation? Perhaps we can reschedule the meeting around your social life. Would 8PM suit you?" (sarcastically)

Did you consider that the call can actually be more important than "your meeting"? Personally, I assume that if during "my" meeting someone texts or answers a call, then there is a reason for that. And I believe that because I respect the people I am having the meeting with, as they -I assume in good faith- respect me, and they would not divert their attention elsewhere, if it was not for a reason.

If you are not confident in your leadership skills, it is natural to put a grumpy sour face when someone is audacious enough to fiddle with their phone during "your" meeting.

Bottomline, don't be a fucking Nazi.

Re:Wtf? (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#45302817)

Bottomline, don't be a fucking Nazi.

It's a meeting. You're supposedly discussing something which requires the attention and input of everyone there. If that phone call is that important then get up and go outside. You don't sit in the meeting discussing something else.

It's called common courtesy and common sense. If you consider those two items such a burden, then obviously so are you to the organization.

Re:Wtf? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302851)

Did you consider that the call can actually be more important than "your meeting"?

If it's important enough to take, it's important enough to get up and leave.

If you are not confident in your leadership skills, it is natural to put a grumpy sour face when someone is audacious enough to fiddle with their phone during "your" meeting.

If I'm holding the meeting then yes, it's my fucking meeting, and if you've got more important things to do then go do them and quit wasting my time.

Re:Wtf? (2)

OliWarner (1529079) | about 5 months ago | (#45303063)

I don't know how you work but if somebody took a call *in* a meeting and made the whole room wait while they dealt with their problem, I'd have words with them. If they did it more than a couple of times, they'd be looking for a new job. Answering a phone call in a meeting is both disruptive and rude, regardless of its importance. If you need to answer it, you quietly make your excuses, step out and then you answer it. If you're in the middle of talking, you yield to somebody else to take over. Anything else is wasting multiple people's time.

The the only exceptions I can think of are if the call is integral to the meeting (live results, conference call, etc) or it's the boss and they know you're *in* a meeting. It's their cash. They can spunk it up the wall if they want to, but I'll still step out to take it. Erm. So to speak.

Tapping around on your phone is slightly more excusable but that does really depend on how much your engagement is required and it can still be considered disruptive. I would mind if people were writing emails. Assuming the person holding the meeting isn't a complete attention-seeking nutbag, there's probably a reason you're in the meeting otherwise it would have been an email.

Re:Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302809)

Dunno if they specified social life.

tech bizzies tend to take calls all the time.. and the workday tends to be one long single string of some kind of meetings anyways.

if it's something relevant to what the meeting is about, it's only natural to deal with the communication there and then.

oh and I know you're only 27 but grow the fuck up.

Re:Wtf? (1)

Jakeula (1427201) | about 5 months ago | (#45302839)

I do this. But my company is ok with it so its not an issue. The reason why is that I actually handle business related tasks from my phone like emails. We are a very small company, so when something pops up in an email, as the one in charge of our website and all of the technology, I am sometimes the only person that can respond. The article doesn't really mention the types of businesses, the sizes of these business, or even the culture. So they might have surveyed 204 employees from tech start ups comprised of mostly 20-somethings where this type of behavior is not explicitly frowned upon or even necessary. Also what do they count as "formal meetings"? My company has a few meetings a week ranging from marketing campaigns to a weekly check in. If these young adults ares answering social calls, there is a far larger issue here than them answering it in a meeting. But if they are work related calls and texts, this might be acceptable or even required.

Re:Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302843)

"Excuse me, was my meeting interrupting your important phone conversation?"

I guarantee you, nothing important happened in your meeting. Nothing of interest occurred. And certainly nothing that could not have been summarized in an email.

SLASHDOT FUCKING SUCKS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302585)

Now it's reduced to those "look at the fucking younger generation" and "get off my lawn" posts.

I never thought Rob Malda leaving would make Slashdot WORSE.

We do it in class all the time (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45302589)

It's rude to answer a call in class or a meeting, you are supposed to step outside.

But, texting - yeah, that's normal.

(I'm not a 20-something, but I attend classes and meetings where most people are 20-somethings)

Re:We do it in class all the time (3, Interesting)

SuperDre (982372) | about 5 months ago | (#45302791)

No, texting is not normal, it's rude and should not be done during meetings or classes unless it actually has something to do with the meeting/class itself.. You're at work/school, so you should leave the private stuff for lunchbreaks or after work.. If it's during my meeting I'll warn you once, if during the same meeting it happens again, I'll warn you twice, if it happens a third time during the same meeting, your mobile will become an UFO that'll crash.. People should just have some respect for others and work, and should know that private calls are not for businesshours unless there really is an emergency.. I pay you to work, not to spend your office hours on your socialmedia hub..

Re:We do it in class all the time (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45302951)

Whatever.

You're obviously stuck in last century.

Watching vids is bad, but you need to learn that stuff happens and if you expect people to be available after work hours that your sacred meeting times and your old rituals are stuck in the last century too.

Re:We do it in class all the time (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 5 months ago | (#45302983)

You aren't paying me anything. The company is paying me to do a job, and that job is what matters, not your self-important rambling about your findings that don't concern me. If my message helps gets the job done more than whatever you're talking about, then I'm really being paid to send that message, and you're the one being rude by wasting time with the meeting.

Depends on how boring the meeting is... (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 5 months ago | (#45302601)

For me, taking calls is ok (but you get up, and talk outisde the door) if it's a work related call (on your work phone). That's why your employer issued you a mobile or DECT phone, after all...

Texting, (and e-mailing, and web surfing, and just letting your thoughts drift) is ok if the meeting is boring enough :-) At our place of work lots of people do this, even older ones, if the meeting's dullness justifies it... (and can be construed as a discrete way of letting the chairperson know..., hehe)

Re:Depends on how boring the meeting is... (1)

Korveck (1145695) | about 5 months ago | (#45303051)

That's fine for your company's internal meetings. You are only sitting with your co-workers and the setting is likely not very formal. But the article specifically says formal business meetings and that's another story. In these occasions you need to be more serious and show respect to people in the room. Texting or talking on the phone (even walking outside to do so) would be something to frown upon.

Pfft. (2, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | about 5 months ago | (#45302607)

Most 50- and 60-somethings I know think it's OK, too.

Re:Pfft. (2)

cellocgw (617879) | about 5 months ago | (#45302939)

"Me, too." I see exactly zero correlation between age and use of phone/laptop during meetings. Part of it is boredom, and part of it is people's belief that they're too important to pay attention to the meeting itself. -- but I do agree that there are way too many meetings in my company.

Re:Pfft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302979)

Yea, the occasional discrete text at a meeting is definitely ok...

Re:Pfft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303069)

It has nothing to do with age exactly, but more to do with experience. The more time you spent not engaged with the human element of corporate work the more likely you will be replaced. Leaders aren't the ones with their heads in a laptop or phone during a meeting. Leaders last in business, techno-lemmings don't.

This isn't only a problem for 20-somethings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302609)

I'm a mid-20s developer and the various 40-something year old project managers at my company are constantly staring at their phones during meetings. It sounds like an arcade with all the text alerts and ring tones constantly going off in big meetings.Tryin to get them to concentrate on something for more than 10 seconds is basically impossible.

It's not them, it's them? (3, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 5 months ago | (#45302611)

Ignoring any potential objective effects, wouldn't it make more sense to state, "if you're an older worker, remember that they aren't trying to be rude?" And then, maybe to say something, instead of judging silently?

Basically the assumptions that the "correct" standard of behavior belongs solely to a certain group, and that others should be expected to be a priori aware of others opinions absent communication, are critically flawed.

Re:It's not them, it's them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302767)

well, just so you know, most people will think you are rude, but they won't tell you so. latin or not.

Re:It's not them, it's them? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302907)

"if you're an older worker, remember that they aren't trying to be rude?"

I don't care if you meant to be rude or not, you're still being rude. Don't try to pin your lack of social skills on others.
It doesn't matter if it's a text, a phonecall, or simply turning and walking away mid-sentence- you're interrupting someone who is talking, and that is rude. You're communicating to them that what they are saying is unimportant, in fact so trivial that it can be completely ignored at the drop of a hat. And maybe you're right, but there are far more polite ways to go about it, starting with the words "excuse me".

Re:It's not them, it's them? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#45303029)

Texting and msking calls shows you are paying attention to something other than the meeting and/or the contents of the meeting. Most people would consider that rude.

Is this a surprise? (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 months ago | (#45302613)

Part of the list of things I go over with my new hires is basic business etiquette. I spend at least an hour per employee on it. The most annoying thing I find is people who have a mother/father/significant other who expect them to always answer the cell phone when they call it. My experience is that a lot of people we hire have never worked in a professional atmosphere before... I'm not sure if this is because of our hiring practices, or is because of the general habits of today's younger workforce. If I am in a meeting I scheduled, and someone my rank or lower answers their phone, I almost always immediately end the meeting, to be rescheduled later. I run meetings so as to waste the minimum amount of time required for everyone; I expect the same from others. The public shaming seems to work well at my current workplace.

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

tiberus (258517) | about 5 months ago | (#45302751)

Nope, not when they are raised with cell phones at the table.

At dinner table...
Dad: Put down your damn phone!
Daughter: Umm... (points to my phone).

Re:Is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302775)

You give your subordinates so much power over you. I can image your subordinates playing a subtle game of let's make him end the meeting again as they watch you behave like a trained monkey. Probably taking discrete pics to post on facebook with the caption I'm so bored. Let's end this.

Re:Is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302935)

To be fair he must be extremely boring if he drives his employees to suicide.

Re:Is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302909)

Dude, you are BORING. Everyone is talking about how boring you are behind your back. You get far in business by making friends, not shoving your etiquette down people's throats. You are that guy that everyone avoids because he's got a board stuck up his ass.

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

omtinez (3343547) | about 5 months ago | (#45303035)

On one side, I understand your frustration with those disrespectful during a meeting. On the other, I think that you take your reaction too far and become quite an elitist if you base your reaction on someone's rank. The idea of a meeting is collaboration, and if you collaborate with some and not others then you are not being a good team player.

That said, is using computers in meetings OK? How about tablets? How about a very large cellphone...? The line is blurring, to me what is important is whether or not what you are doing is beneficial/detrimental to the meeting.

Depends on the business (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#45302617)

Today, you usually know who's calling before you answer. It may be appropriate to take a call if it's more important than the meeting. If you're in sales, a call from a major customer is probably more important than a meeting. If you're responsible for something operational, a call from someone reporting trouble is probably more important than the meeting.

As for reading texts, if you're in a meeting and the current meeting activity doesn't involve you, it's an effective use of your time. This is more of a large-meeting thing. Large meetings are generally nonproductive anyway.

Re:Depends on the business (3, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#45302679)

Today, you usually know who's calling before you answer. It may be appropriate to take a call if it's more important than the meeting. If you're in sales, a call from a major customer is probably more important than a meeting. If you're responsible for something operational, a call from someone reporting trouble is probably more important than the meeting.

Except in both of those cases, you would excuse yourself and step out of the meeting to take the call. You don't sit in the conference room and talk on the phone while the meeting is going on.

Re:Depends on the business (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 months ago | (#45302727)

Today, you usually know who's calling before you answer. It may be appropriate to take a call if it's more important than the meeting. If you're in sales, a call from a major customer is probably more important than a meeting.

Sure, but not in the meeting. Excuse yourself, and explain it's an extremely important customer call that absolutely cannot wait.

And even if this is the case, you're still being rude... just with an excuse. The call may be more important to you, but the other people in the meeting? You're wasting their time.

If you've blocked out time for a meeting, don't take calls during that time. It's rude and unprofessional.

Note: This is for orgs that have effective meetings. If your meetings are generally unproductive, it may be a different story...

Frizzen Posten! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302627)

Others think it's cool to have a first post.

Also depends on what's a "formal" meeting. (2)

catfood (40112) | about 5 months ago | (#45302637)

I can imagine really young people in a chaotic startup texting and messaging in a meeting because it's how the meeting works.

Think "war room" more than "board room."

Re:Also depends on what's a "formal" meeting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302855)

I'm 28, I read and sometimes answer texts in meetings. I don't know how they defines "formal" in the study, but all my meetings are with colleagues - sometimes close colleagues, sometimes other teams.

In those circumstances I consider it OK as buzzing away a quick "yeah lunch at 12" to someone doesn't interrupt the meeting, and there's usually a powerpoint slideshow running, so you can just read that to catch up. Or you check when the other guys are busy figuring something out which doesn't concern you.

In a meeting with clients or top managers I would let the phone be.

Would be curious to know if I'm committing a faux pas - everyone seems to do it, not to mention the managers on their crackberries or the people from marketing with laptops chatting with colleagues or browsing the web.

Skip them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302669)

Just skip them. They are not listening, so they don't have all information needed.
Go on talking. Ask them about their opinion on what was said while being on the
phone. Expose them to their behavior till it gets ridiculous. At least that's what works
for us.

Zero Tolerance (4, Interesting)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 5 months ago | (#45302695)

I work in a fairly large technical sales environment, and we exercise a zero tolerance rule for our younger team members when we are out with clients - if you touch your mobile device for any reason beyond presenting content or sharing contacts relevant to the meeting, you will be reprimanded. Don't leave the device on the table, and don't even think about taking notes on your phone - anything that distracts you and forces you to break eye contact with your customer is a bad thing and makes you look like you're only half-interested in the people in the room.
We will occasionally experience some belligerence after they have been reprimanded, but we always remind them that the best, most seasoned sales team members only need four things to close a multi-million dollar sale - pen, paper, whiteboard, and business cards.

Re:Zero Tolerance (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 months ago | (#45302737)

Which in many cases will look like your company is out of date. I make a point of throwing out business cards in front of sales drones who hand them to me. Send me your contact details via some more modern method or do not bother, I am not your secretary.

Re:Zero Tolerance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302873)

Which in many cases will look like your company is out of date. I make a point of throwing out business cards in front of sales drones who hand them to me. Send me your contact details via some more modern method or do not bother, I am not your secretary.

Well, the police didn't protect Reginald Denny and they won't be there to protect you.

You'll wish you hadn't thrown out all of those business cards when you're dragged out of your car and beaten to death in the street.

Re:Zero Tolerance (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 months ago | (#45302891)

Oh look an internet tough guy!
Tell us more stories about how you will hurt the man that made you feel bad.

Re:Zero Tolerance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303011)

Did you take time off of beating your wife to post here today?

Re:Zero Tolerance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303081)

You understand the GP (which I'm not) was parodying your internet though guy persona? Talk about irony.

Re:Zero Tolerance (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 5 months ago | (#45303017)

Really? You make it a point to throw it out in front of them? Because it's that important that you prove how superior you think you are, and how arrogant and immature you actually are? It sounds like you're doing them a favor. Especially considering that you refer to someone doing their job as a "sales drone."

Re:Zero Tolerance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303023)

If that''s what you really do, your an ass.

stop being an entitled brat and grow up

Re:Zero Tolerance (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 5 months ago | (#45303089)

I have zero-tolerance the other way...

If the presenter "shoots first" by making a boring or pointless presentation, I retaliate by taking out my phone and getting on with my other work.

Control for meeting size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302699)

This doesn't seem to have been accounted for. Younger people tend to be junior staffers and mostly privy to larger, all-hands meetings where, honestly, you can pretty much ignore what is going on in the meeting since you're receiving orders from your manager as needed anyway.

Older people are more frequently part of smaller, higher-level meetings where they actually have to pay attention because they're the ones who are supposed to keep their departments in line with upper level management goals.

Businesses are hypocrits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302707)

Businesses think it's okay to call employees when they are with their family, they have no respect for private time so why should employees have respect for business time ?

Loaded Study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302739)

I didn't read the linked article, but as an almost-40-something corporate employee I can say that there are as many types of meetings as there are varieties of TPS report jokes. Some meetings have a dozen or more people on laptops, some are broad round table discussions, some are con calls where you know at least a few people on mute are watching tv (or worse). Check your texts, answer emails, possibly talk on your phones in these meetings.

Other way around (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 5 months ago | (#45302761)

Young folks know that business meetings are usually not actually important. Most of the meeting is spent addressing other people's concerns or bragging about some piece of information that the presenter feels is important, but is only trivia to most of the audience. If there's anything else, like a text message, that is perceived as a better use of one's time, they're likely to pay attention to that, rather than the meeting.

Older folks would previously have just dozed off in meetings, or doodled on notebooks looking like they were paying attention. Now that older folks are likely to be the ones leading the meeting*, of course they feel slighted when their subordinates are devoting attention elsewhere.

Another contributing factor is that young folks are more often the expendable workforce. They're the ones who are getting the longer hours and heavier workloads, being taught through their short careers that handling two problems at once is a minimum. There's a good chance that text message is work-related, and not responding would be the greater offense.

* From TFA:

People with higher incomes are more judgmental about mobile phone use than people with lower incomes

...which indicates to me that the older ones are the managers. On a wider study, this assumption may be invalid, as different industries have more youth at the top, but it appears this study covered 200 employees at a beverage distributor for its initial phase, and it doesn't reveal how many were used for the second phase. Not much hope for demographic diversity.

Inevitably more productive than the meeting itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302769)

That's all.

Outrageous! (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 5 months ago | (#45302781)

It's outrageous that a writer in modern times would so blatantly try to induce outrage in his readers. PEOPLE ARE TEXTING IN MEETINGS, THE HORROR!

Learning the lesson the hard way (0)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 5 months ago | (#45302789)

They'll learn when the 20-somethings get a poor review, smaller bonuses, passed over on promotions because their superiors are 30, 40, 50 and 60 somethings...

I wonder how many of them would do this at a fancy dinner with their significant other... It's a good way to end up sleeping on the couch...

Re:Learning the lesson the hard way (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#45302879)

They'll learn when the 20-somethings get a poor review, smaller bonuses, passed over on promotions because their superiors are 30, 40, 50 and 60 somethings...

U MAD, BRO?

Re:Learning the lesson the hard way (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#45302921)

Maybe, until those 60somethings retire/die off and those 20somethings becomes the new 30, then 40, then 50, then 60somethings.. That's what's called a cultural shift. ..and if you tolerate your girlfriend throwing a fit because you checked your phone briefly, you're a simp.

Ban Personal Mobile Devices in the Workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302807)

I purposefully sought out an employer who has a no personal cell phone on the premises policy. Not having to around with constantly distracted people who lack the self discipline to put their pacifiers down is incredibly satisfying. It's just like the good old days when people didn't feel like they were entitled to bring their personal lives to work showed up at work to, well, you know, work.

Re:Ban Personal Mobile Devices in the Workplace (3, Insightful)

EvilSS (557649) | about 5 months ago | (#45302997)

"It's just like the good old days when people didn't feel like they were entitled to bring their personal lives to work showed up at work to, well, you know, work.", he said, posting the comment to Slashdot in the middle of the workday.

Meeting overload (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302825)

It's probably because we now live in a world of instantaneous response, where the younger guys understand that if you don't respond, then the next guy will. They are probably meeting weary as well, they sit around listening to people banging on about their own self importance, trying to fill the booked out hour.

I was in a 2 hour meeting that had covered it's content in 60 minutes this week, the chair gleefully asked what we could use the remaining hour for - I decided to go and get some work done.

I've started weighting my calendar with Red and Green entries. Red is an internal meeting, Green is an external supplier or customer meeting. It's interesting to get a visual snapshot of where you spend time.

Why pick on 20-somethings? (1)

ipgrunt (922572) | about 5 months ago | (#45302849)

Why pick on 20-somethings? It seems as if people with so-called smart phones pay more attention to their portable toys than to the people around them. Went to an opera last weekend and sat in the balcony with a view over the orchestra section. When the house lights went up for intermission, I looked down on a sea of blue light emanating from little 3" LCDs all over the audience. It struck me that I preferred the rosy, golden hue of audiences 35 years ago, who used those little plastic butane lighters to salute the performers, to the cold, blue indifference of intermission emailers.

Re:Why pick on 20-somethings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302995)

Why the hell are you complaining about people checking their devices during intermission? That is /the/ appropriate time to do so.

Re:Why pick on 20-somethings? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#45303049)

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

- Socrates

Seriously this needs in 100pt or larger font in front of every editor.

Re:Why pick on 20-somethings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45303073)

If someone is at the theatre or opera or symphony and is sending/reading text messages and/or sending/reading email, perhaps those persons ought not to have attended the event. When I go to watch a movie at a theatre I do not want to see or hear smartphones, cameras, video recorders, or even a crying infant.

Meets are bull**** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302853)

People sitting around looking at projected images correcting spelling... What an annoying practice.

Signal/noise ratio (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#45302871)

Since 90% of what goes on in those meetings involves passive aggressive posturing and yammering, it doesn't surprise me at all. Now, if only these in charge of these meetings would graduate highschool already by letting go of idiotic things like strict dress codes.

I don't think so, stop lying about me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45302885)

I don't think so, stop lying about me.

On Call (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 5 months ago | (#45302947)

If you're on call, it's appropriate to receive a notification in any situation. That's what it means to be on call, and a lot of young professionals are.

If the notification requires response, it's then appropriate to excuse yourself from the meeting. Just like you'd excuse yourself to hold a person to person side conversation while someone else was presenting.

Over 40s (4, Interesting)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | about 5 months ago | (#45302967)

As a 20 something I'm eagerly waiting for these baby boomers to just retire so we don't have to deal with thier nonsense. There is nothing wrong with answering a text message in a meeting if your are not involved in the conversation and you don't disturb anyone else.

Here is my list of stuff that is rude that over 40s do that I wish would stop:

  • Calling me on the phone and reading out a string of technical information. Put it in writing, put it in an email.
  • Print all of your emails. Sometimes other people would like to use the printer.
  • Complain that "new" technologies like version control are too complicated and therfore not worth learning (I'm not kidding).
  • Expect me to provide you, a programmer with decades of experience, with technical support.
  • Not knowing how to silence your phone.
  • Telling me how much fast/better you can do something than me. Nobody likes a braggart.
  • Grumbling about stuff people my age do, to my face.
  • If you have bifocals you don't need to take your glasses off and lose them.
  • Use Power Point.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...