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Think twice before banning smartphones

With smartphones increasingly becoming a remedy for boring business meetings, bosses who ban the device need to learn how to better run meetings, according to a corporate behaviour expert.

Telstra’s 2011 Smartphone Index shows that 13 percent of business smartphone users were accessing the Internet during meetings. The report also revealed that while most (59 percent) were for work purposes, 23 percent admit they were simply bored.

As the majority of smartphone use is work-related, Corporate Connection Strategies Executive Coach and Facilitator Colin Chodos believes the report indicates commonsense is ruling in most business situations.

According to the Chodos, whilst turning off smartphones might be appropriate under some circumstances, there is also a message for many managers.

“If your colleagues are switching off and logging on, maybe you need to run your meetings with clearer goals, time limits, agendas or more opportunity for meaningful engagement.”

The research indicated that 16 percent of business smartphone users have used their device in a meeting to download a personal message or take a non-business related call.

“Estasblishing agreed ‘smartphone meeting protocols’ with regular breaks to check messages and e-mails is now also common practice,” Chodos added.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff said research released earlier this year shows more than a quarter of Australians spend more than five hours a week working away from their designated place of employment and “some 71 percent of Australian businesses with less than 20 employees have a policy allowing staff to work from home.”

Telstra’s Smartphone Index shows 46 percent of Australian mobile owners have a smartphone. It is expected that this figure will grow more than 60 percent over the next year.

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Lizbeth Pal

Lizbeth Pal

Lizbeth is one of Dynamic Business' talented interns.

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