If you whip out your phone at a meeting to tap out a text, shoot off an email or just check the weather, you might be losing points with your boss, shutting the door on a job opportunity or hindering your climb to the top at work.
Especially if the person with the power to help your career is a woman. A new study by USC and Howard University found that women are especially offended by discourteous smartphone use:
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be offended by using a phone at the table.
About 59 percent of guys say it's acceptable to whip out a phone at a "power lunch," the study says, while 34 percent of women say it's OK.
The research by USC Marshall School of Business and Howard professors was published this week in Business Communication Quarterly. Academics surveyed 550 full-time professionals.
Only about one in four women said answering a phone at lunch meetings was acceptable, the study found.
Interestingly, people from the West Coast and higher-income folks were less likely to tolerate phone use in social and business settings. One in five professionals said even putting a phone on the table during such a scenario is rude.
The folks most accepting of using a phone with company around? Those under 30, 66 percent of whom said this is perfectly normal.
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Researchers' advice? Stop that. Peter W. Cardon, associate professor of clinical management communication at the USC Marshall School of Business Center for Management Communication:
Hiring managers often cite courtesy as among the most important soft skills they notice. By focusing on civility, young people entering the workforce may be able to set themselves apart.
Kids these days.