Every company has that one guy who can’t seem to get off his phone during a business meeting. It may be hard to believe, but this practice is becoming more acceptable in today’s society, to the point that it might become a “norm” for future generations.
A study at the University of Southern California revealed more than half the people between the ages of 21 and 30 think it is acceptable to check text messages and emails during formal business meetings. Conversely, less than 20% of people 51-65 years old felt the same way.
Herbein + Co., an accounting firm in Pittsburgh, is starting to use this phenomenon to its advantage, making smartphones and tablets a regular part of their business meetings. In 2012, all senior managers got iPads, and now those iPads are incorporated into the meetings through online agendas, calendars and note-taking programs. This was all done in an effort to transition to a paperless office, which is something a number of other American businesses are doing.
As the country continues to embrace the benefits of the Internet for efficiency and convenience, smartphones and tablets will inevitably be the stars of the show. Don’t be surprised if you hear your boss complain that you’re NOT using your smartphone at a meeting in the distant future.