"Mind your manners." That's what mom always said, right? But now that you're the mom what's considered good manners has changed a lot, thanks to technology and the fast pace of life. When you work from home, the phone is a particularly important part of your professional life.
Phone Manners at Work
Good phone manners are essential in any business setting--whether you work at home or in an office. But for those us who work at home, the distractions that go along with it can sabotage even our best phone selves.
Use my tips for good phone manners while working at home to be sure you always sound professional while working from your home office.
But obviously it is just as important to use good phone manners in other business settings, not just the home office. These 4 tips for telephone etiquette by Joy Hicks, Guide to Medical Offices, provide a great basis for what every business with significant incoming phone traffic needs to do to be sure customers, clients and any incoming callers are always greeted professionally.
When you work from a home office, you do have the advantage of being able to take personal phone calls without disrupting anyone else. For those WAHMs who telecommute part time and spend some days in a brick-and-mortar office keep in mind these rules for using cell phones at work by Dawn Rosenberg McKay, Guide to Career Planning. Remember the level of professionalism you use in the office reflects your work ethic and is the basis for your boss and coworkers' assumptions about what you do while working at home.
Phone Manners at Home
There are no special rules for good phone manners in your home life, as opposed to in your career. The business phone manners that you use at work are perfectly appropriate for your personal life. Your sister doesn't want to listen to you typing at the other end of a phone conversation any more than your clients do, right?
And keeping background noise to a minimum reduces your stress while on the phone whether at work or at home. So follow these dos and don'ts for phone manners at home too.
Falling somewhere between your personal and professional life is a job interview by phone. Often conducted at home, the interview needs to convey your professionalism. Alison Doyle, Guide to Job Searching, lays out these tips for job interviews by phone.
Phone Manners for Kids
And while the rules for good phone manners don't differ much between home and work, at home we parents are also tasked with teaching our children telephone etiquette. And in turn we must also set good examples.
This article Phone Etiquette and Manners by Keath Low, Guide to ADD/ADHD, lists 10 telephone rules that will teach all children good phone manners.
Phone Manners on the Go
Good cell phone etiquette is one of those things that we all want to see in everyone else, but don't always remember for ourselves. Read these dos and don'ts of cell phone etiquette by Catherine Roseberry, former Guide, to see if you measure up.
Jennifer O'Donnell, Guide to Tweens, provides some great advice about texting etiquette for tweens. And, well, frankly I think many adults stand to incorporate some of this advice into their lives as well.