Q. What can be done about people who use speaker phones in the office to carry on conversations – business or personal? I think it’s rude and reflects on the laziness of those people who will not pick up a handset to dial or receive phone calls. It’s bad enough to hear one side of the conversation, let alone two (or more if it’s a conference call).
A. You are correct, a speakerphone should be used only in closed offices and ideally when more than one person is one the receiving end. If possible, these calls should be made from conference rooms in order to avoid disturbing others in the workplace.
Handling the situation, however, requires tact and diplomacy. You can approach the offending personnel politely, and say something like, “I know you probably have no idea, but when you use your speakerphone it is really distracting and I find it hard to get my work done.” Avoid name calling or using the word “rude,” just be straightforward and honest in presenting your predicament. Asking nicely that they refrain from broadcasting their calls.