Marketers in the United States often note that mobile marketing is the next big platform to blow up in the United States. In terms of mobile phone capability and use, we Americans are far behind Europe, Asia and just about every other corner of the globe. However, the booming use of BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphones has marketers salivating at the potential of this new frontier. With this emerging technology still new to us, we can’t seem to hide our excitement and curiosity around the seemingly endless uses of our smartphones. Tapping away on a BlackBerry keyboard has become as commonplace as chatting with the person next to you. In fact, our obsession with our little electronic friends is spilling into the workplace in very obtrusive ways, the New York Times recently noted.
In general, the workplace often has lax rules on phone usage, and people are taking advantage by finding the latest Twitter chatter, sports scores, or email updates far more interesting than the meeting they are sitting in. It seems to be getting to the point where we all decide whether to just accept this lack of focus, like we have accepted the guy rambling into his Bluetooth as he wanders around the grocery store, or fight back, like the bars and restaurants which refuse to take your order until you hang up the phone.
Have these distractions become such a problem that productivity and creativity are now being affected? What is your corporate policy on phone usage during meetings, lunches and brainstorms?