6 Business Texting Rules

The following six caveats are important for texting related to workplace communications:

1. Before you text a customer or business partner, ask permission. It’s simply good manners.

2. Don’t be glued to your cellphone even when you’re working alone or walking down the hall. It creates a wall between you and others so that they may be hesitant to approach you—and you appear self-absorbed.

3. At your workplace, turn off the audible text alerts, which are disruptive to others. If you’re waiting for important news, switch to vibrate and keep the phone in your pocket.

4. Identify yourself in your text if you aren’t positive the person has your cellphone number in his or her contact list. Not doing so when communicating with a colleague or business associate can make you appear stupid or unprofessional, or both.

5. Use proper grammar and punctuation, especially for business messages. It’ll burnish your image as a conscientious, polished professional.

6. Don’t change meeting times or sites in a text message. You can’t be sure the recipients will receive the message in time, says Barbara Pachter, author of The Essentials of Business Etiquette. (Note that many older cellphone users don’t check their phones as often as 20-somethings.) Most etiquette experts agree that it’s OK to text to confirm plans, though.

See our texting do's and don'ts and learn when and how to send (and not send!) text messages.


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