When Can You Make Personal Calls at Work?

When she deems it an emergency, my mom does not hesitate to call me at my office. Of course she is not supposed to call if it is not a real emergency. But it will surprise you what she considers an emergency. She has often called me when she is stuck in traffic and I honestly cannot do anything for her. In addition to calling me with the news of a stolen potted plant, I cannot help but gasp when she calls and the fact that I sit at the center of a newsroom does not help.

Thank God for voice-mail where she is taken when she dials my cell. But, since she knows my work number, she always manages to get through. I have tried to convince her that the workplace is not a place for personal chatter and even told her that there are possible penalties and she can get me in big trouble. I'm sure many people go through heartache every once in a while. Thomas P. Farley who is a manners expert has a lot to say about this topic and has authored the book 'Modern Manners: The Thinking Person's Guide to Social Graces. According to him, I'm trying to do the right thing by discouraging private calls at work.

According to Farley, it is hard to eliminate or wish away personal calls in the office. However, you need to think about others first. If every word you say is heard by your colleagues, chances are that it will not work well for you going forward. In such a setting, limiting personal calls is the way to go: eliminating the calls entirely would be ideal. It might be too radical to consider banning personal calls in the work place. However, you have to consider whether they are that invasive or not. The best way to find out whether they disturb others is to ask people around you.

Asking for people's opinions about this topic is like opening a can of worms. It is obvious that many people do not appreciate hearing personal details being discussed with utter impunity when others are trying to catch up with some work. Erin Rose, 30, used to work with a colleague who took every opportunity to yell at her kids on the phone. She works in a busy accounting office and according to her, the last thing you want to hear are domestic quarrels.

Toni, 29, has to grapple with over-analysis by her colleague about her relationship with her boyfriend. If Toni was not too open with her calls in the office, probably her love life would still be private. Personal calls in the office will inform unnecessary people about your personal affairs and this will have a detrimental effect that you cannot control. You cannot complain about it because you are the one who leaked your own personal information through personal calls in the work place.

Megan Wolf from Manchester U.K heard a coworker promise her husband a nice time after a proposed costume party. Many people have different interests and when it comes to love, the last thing you want is your office knowing about your fetishes. Many times, personal calls in the office are platforms for anger and harsh talk when people are in a bad mood. In this light, you do not want your colleagues to look at you in a funny manner after you get off the phone with your annoying sister. The main problem comes when you share a working space with a number of people.

Those who have private offices might not be as safe as they think. Some colleagues can get wise and find a way to listen in to the calls. Even hiding in a corner with your cell phone all ready informs people that you are making a personal call. But personal calls in the office do not have to be all bad. When Abi Paul got his first job after college at an Internet Start-up in New York, he had to share one phone with 10 people in the office. And one day over the intercom, a colleague informed Abi that his mom wanted to find out why the dishwasher was not working.

Even though this was an embarrassing moment, the humor broke the ice in the small office and Abi made friends quickly to his delight. In this regard, personal calls should not be made public. However, an occasional call might be the distraction you need to add some spice to your day. The key is to make sure you maintain good conduct in the office and to consider others first before yourself. Personal emergency calls cannot wait and you have to make your loved ones understand what an emergency really is: good luck!