Thursday, March 03, 2011

Smartphone Junkies

Ever been in a meeting and a smartphone goes off? Sounds familiar? It's amazing what smart phones can do these days in particular how you can stay connected all the time, be it email, SMS, twitter, Facebook, you name it. Cleverly used these devices can support collaboration and keep feedback loops short.

Some rules are common sense in the meantime. Switch at least the sound off. In some cases it might be useful to even switch off vibration as it can still distract if the smartphone is just sitting on the table and then starts hopping around. And even if both are switched off, some people are so addicted to checking every five minutes whether there is a new message that it could become a distraction even in short meetings like a daily scrum.

So, in my experience the best option is not bringing these devices to meetings in the first place. A different option could be a tray close to the door where people could then just put their phones during the meeting and pick them up again afterwards.

Bottom line: It's not the phone that is smart. It's the person using it cleverly!
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