Peter W. Cardon of the USC Marshall School of Business co-authored the study with Melvin C. Washington and Ephraim A. Okoro of Howard University. The researchers surveyed 550 full-time working professionals in order to look at how people’s mobile manners can influence workplace hiring, business efficiency and career advancement.
"Hiring managers often cite courtesy as among the most important soft skills they notice. By focusing on civility, young people entering the workforce may be able to set themselves apart," Cardon said.
The authors found that 76 percent of people said that looking at texts or emails was unacceptable behavior in business meetings and 87 percent of people thought answering a call during a business meeting was rarely or never acceptable.
Breaking it down by gender, the study found that more than 59 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch, compared to 34 percent of women. Along those same lines, 50 percent of men said answering a call at a power lunch was okay, compared to 26 percent of women.
Higher-income professionals had less tolerance for smartphone use in business meetings, but 66 percent of young professionals under the age of 30 said texting or emailing at a business lunch was okay.
"Not surprisingly, millennials and younger professionals were more likely to be accepting of smartphone use, but they might be doing themselves a disservice," Cardon said. "In many situations, they rely on those older than them for their career advancement."