Users of the iPhone have stood accused of many things, from being more interested in form than function through to having more money than sense. However, the iPhone bashing has taken an unexpected turn as new research suggests that smartphone users are becoming increasingly rude both at home and in the workplace.
The study of more than one thousand workers in the UK, conducted by social email provider harmon.ie, suggests that the abundance of iPhones and other "electronic devices for collaboration" is directly leading to poor office etiquette and often downright rudeness.
The research revealed that 41 percent of workers continue to use their smartphones during face-to-face meetings in order to send instant messages, reply to text messages, check email or listen to voice-mail.Seventy percent do the same if those meetings are virtual rather than face-to-face. Thirty one percent will disrupt those face-to-face meetings to answer an incoming call, although 40 percent readily admitted it was considered rude to do so. Nineteen percent will ignore direct instructions from senior colleagues at work to disconnect calls.
Eighty five percent will stay connected to work stuff during the weekend, 79 percent during the evening, and 74 percent while on holiday. If you thought that was intrusive, 48 percent said they stay online in bed. Apparently, 35 percent of those asked claim to be permanently connected to the office and never disconnect their devices no matter what. A third of those asked thought that they might lose their competitive edge if they disconnect from their inbox for just 30 minutes or less, while a further 20 percent fear losing that edge if cut off from email for just five minutes.
"It would appear that we have a classic case of double standards in the workplace, with 82 percent complaining about other peoples' tendencies to disrupt proceedings by answering a mobile phone, tweeting, sending an instant message, responding to emails or even just updating their social status - which incidentally nine percent of our sample confessed they did" said David Lavenda, Vice President of Product Strategy at harmon.ie. "Yet, rather ironically, 70 percent of those that rudely interrupt meetings themselves would be offended if someone did the same thing to them. Clearly, the perceived pressure to stay connected has led many people to neglect their manners".