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Proper Phone Etiquette in the Workplace

In the workplace, certain rules of etiquette are attached to answering the phone, making a call and conducting a phone conversation.

Following the right guidelines will make your office a more pleasant place to work and will improve your professional reputation.


Proper Phone Etiquette


Answering the Phone

It is important to use a pleasant voice when answering a work phone, and to clearly state the name of the business in the introduction. Employees should begin with “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” and end the greeting with phrases such as “How may I help you?” or “How may I direct your call?”


Recording Voicemail Messages

When recording the voicemail message callers will hear when you are not able to answer the phone, it is appropriate to include your full name, as well as your company’s name.

Request that callers leave their names, as well as the time and date of their call and a brief message. State that you will return calls as soon as possible, and try to do so within 24 hours.


Leaving Voicemails

To leave a voicemail, state your purpose for the call as concisely as possible. Include all possible methods for being contacted once the recipient receives your message.

State your name and company name at the beginning and end of the phone call for clarification, and repeat the return phone number twice in case the recipient needs to write it down.


Cell Phones

Cell phone usage will differ slightly depending on the office environment. For instance, if you’ve been issued a mobile phone by your company, it is acceptable to use the phone several times during the day to make and receive company calls.

However, personal cell phones should not be used in the office unless there is an emergency. It is also proper etiquette to adjust cell phones to the “vibrate” or “silent” setting so the ringing will not distract coworkers.


Placing Callers on Hold

Before placing a caller on hold, always ask the caller’s permission. Every 30 seconds, return to the phone to give a “progress report”; i.e. “[Name of professional] has stepped away from her desk–she should return shortly.”

If the caller has not been transferred to the right person or department in about two minutes, it is appropriate to come back to the phone and offer the opportunity to leave a message.


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