Are Tech Gadgets Killing Workplace Etiquette?

Majority of CIOs in new survey say they are.

While tech gadgets have been touted to make the workforce more flexible and collaborative, they also may be contributing to a decline in workplace etiquette, a new survey suggests.

A survey of more than 2,300 CIOs in the United States by Robert Half Technology found that 64 percent believe the greater use of mobile tools such as cell phones and tablets has led to more breaches in workplace etiquette over the last three years. That’s up from 51 percent from 2010, the last time Robert Half conducted the survey.

“As mobile devices have become increasingly integrated into the workplace, they’ve helped us become more productive, but they also can serve as a round-the-clock distraction,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “If you’re not fully engaged in a conversation or meeting, you may spend more time replying to emails than listening.”

Some examples of etiquette breaches included surfing while talking, leaving long voicemails for colleagues, using the wrong form of communication for a particular situation, and attempting to multitask during meetings by checking email or Facebook, or not silencing cell phones.

Have tech gadgets contributed to a decline in workplace etiquette at your agency? What breaches of tech etiquette have you witnessed among colleagues?