Last March, I wrote a blog post about shutting down email for an hour. As you may recall, or can read here, the post discussed activity based workstations and the concept of having a quiet area to get work done. I wish it was that easy.
It seems lately that etiquette has given way to people's need for immediate gratification. It seems that if I don't answer my office line, my cell phone typically rings shortly thereafter. If I don't answer my cell, an email or text is likely to follow. There are some clients and projects that need immediate attention, but when another broker calls and emails on a 1,500 square foot deal, it's enough to drive me a little crazy.
And what's the etiquette on the timing for a return call? If I don't return a call in an hour, when did it become acceptable to call again so quickly? Some people will call and email three or four times a day before I can get back to them. If I could, I would return the call...I promise!
However, I have come to realize that instead of getting upset, I need to embrace it. It's the reality of doing business in 2014. We are far too connected and there will be people who take advantage of that connectivity. But are they doing it to annoy me? It seems like it at times, but it's typically in the interest of moving a deal forward. They are just doing their jobs. Just because I don't want to discuss a specific deal at that moment doesn't mean that they are wrong for calling.
So what's the proper etiquette these days? Do we need constant contact to get deals done? While there are times that I all I can think about is The Beatles' song, Don't Bother Me, it's only because I want to get other work done.
I guess the answer is go back to my previous idea. Shut down Outlook, turn off the cell, close the door, and focus. Will they come up with another way to find me? I guess we will find out soon what the next level of connectivity is, but in the meantime, if you can't find me, I am sorry. I will be back soon...I promise.