Cell Phone Use in the Office

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

There was an article in this past Saturday’s Seattle Post-intelligencer regarding the use of cell phones in businesses. According to the article, businesses and organizations are increasingly posting signs and asking people to stop using cell phones during transactions. They mentioned banks, coffee shops, and doctors offices, as places where cell phone use is being questioned.

I’m assuming many chiropractic offices, dental offices, medical facilities, and other offices of health professionals have pushed for a no cell phone policy in their places of business. My LA chiropractic office did the no cell phone thing back in around 2003, but we did away with the policy after about a few months.

One of the things that bugged me when we put the policy in place was that it had to be enforced by staff. I felt they were too often telling people that our office had a no cell phone zone and that all phones should be turned off before getting adjusted. After we did away with the policy things just kind of took a natural progression, and I think we found a happy medium.

Many of the clients in my chiropractic office are techies. We have a number of entrepreneurial business types that seem to always be on their cell phones, blackberries, or using other electronic gadgets. I really don’t think were much different than other offices in that sense, but with me being an UberGeek I can understand how they feel about their electronics.

front desk ADIO chiropracticIn my experience, people walking in the parking lot that are still on their cell phones while approaching the office, tend to keep their conversations outside until their call is done. It’s actually become pretty rare that people are conversing on the phone while at the front desk. If they are, we take a situational approach and take care of others until they’re done.

There’s very little cell phone use inside adjusting rooms although I have had that rare occasion where someone’s phone has rang while they’re getting adjusted and they just had to get up to grab that call. I can only recall that happening two or three times and when it had I’ve left the room. There was a price to pay for answering that call since when I step out I move on to the next person and will return when I am done.

While it’s most beneficial that everyone be lying face down and relaxing their spine in preparation for the most awesome of adjustments, people will be people, and some just don’t like to let go of their gadgets. The biggest uses of gadgets that I experience inside the rooms are people texting, twittering, checking e-mails on their Blackberry, and watching YouTube on their iPhone. Actually, I’ve only seen the last one a few times, and it’s always been the same person.

I wonder how things are handled in other small businesses?

One thought on “Cell Phone Use in the Office”

  1. My pet peeve is when people answer the phone when you are in the middle of a meaningful conversation with them. Especially, when the phone call could have waited.

    It is also annoying when people try to talk to you while they are already on the phone as you can’t tell who they are addressing. Especially if they are using a bluetooth.

    With personal communications, I think that you should give your undivided attention to the person you are currently communicating with.

    The order of importance, with respect to attention, should be 1) in-person, 2) phone, 3) hand written letter 4) digital communications.

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