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Interoffice Phone Etiquette

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Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

At my work when a person calls your extension, from within the company, it is automatically on the speakerphone. It has become customary for many to just say "yes" with out picking it up. This one woman at my work will simply remain silent unless you pick up the handset. However, when I call her, she uses the speakerphone and never the handset. What is the etiquette regarding interoffice phoning?



Dear Annoyed,

Remaining silent is rude on the caller's part. If she prefers the handset, then she needs to first identify herself, and then politely ask that you pick up the handset.

Interoffice phone etiquette is no different from other business phone etiquette. The person receiving a phone call also needs to be polite and at the minimum say, "Hello, Jane here" or "Yes, Jane speaking," in order to identify to the caller that the correct call was made.

To break your coworker of this silent treatment do not pick up the handset if she does not respond. If you do not receive a response after saying "hello" several times, then assume the party is not there and hang up the speakerphone. If you pick up the handset after she remains silent, she will continue the habit of remaining silent until the handset is picked up.

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