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While emails, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, and even WhatsApp, have become par for the course when talking to team members and clients, many people still find picking up the phone to be one of the most effective ways to get business done.

However, a study from telecoms provider 4Com has explored how well Brits do when it comes to business phone etiquette.

11% of respondents said they will interrupt people when they have something they want to say, and that’s despite 42% finding being interrupted the most annoying thing to happen during a phone call. 

While someone eating or drinking on the other end of the line is one of the top five annoying habits, 6% of Brits are guilty of this. A confident 33% responded they have no annoying phone habits at all.

  • Someone having a conversation with someone else in the background (43%)
  • Being interrupted whilst speaking (42%)
  • Someone not listening/clearly distracted (41%)
  • Being put on hold (39%)
  • Someone eating their food/having a drink whilst speaking (35%)

And what’s the cost of bad phone habits? 19% of people said they’d hang up the phone, 26% will call them out of their bad behaviour, and 11% would hit the mute button.

Commenting on the research, Mark Pearcy, Head of Marketing at 4Com, said: “As a telecoms company, we’re all about communication, so we were surprised to see just how many people admit to having poor phone manners. While texts, emails, social media, and all other forms of communication all have their benefits, speaking on the phone is perhaps most effective at passing on your message.”