Voicemails and answerphones may have consigned the constantly ringing phone on your neighbour's desk to history, but mobile phones have now stepped up as one of the most trying irritations of the modern-day workplace.
A survey by mobile phones firm T-Mobile of more than 5,000 workers has found the majority of UK employees do not consider the effect using their mobile phone or Blackberry in the workplace has on their colleagues.
The research found more than six out of 10 admitted to having bad "mobile manners", including leaving phones switched on and answering calls when in meetings.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such activities do not go down well with colleagues, with 17 per cent admitting to feeling ignored or disrespected by work-mates nattering on when they should be engaging with them.
Most – 87 per cent – admitted to being irritated when a mobile rang in a meeting, with 91 per cent saying they were left fuming if the device was then answered. Four out of five workers believed it was unacceptable to send or read a text message during a meeting. But just a third felt using a laptop during a meeting was equally unacceptable.
This was an area where employers could pick up easy Brownie points, the survey suggested.
Workers wanted their employers to take a lead in quashing bad mobile manners, but 55 per cent saying their company offered no guidance on the appropriate use of mobile devices within the workplace.
Phil Chapman, marketing director of T-Mobile UK, said: "It is important that individuals consider their mobile behaviour and that collectively we raise etiquette standards to ensure that mobile devices enhance our working lives without impinging on them."