A side effect of our fast-paced, technology-driven work culture is the lack of time and effort spent making others feel appreciated and at ease. Technology, in particular, can lure us away from respectful business behavior.

While certain forms of etiquette — hand-written thank-you cards, for example — are quickly disappearing, minding your manners still plays an important role in building your reputation with colleagues and clients.

Even if you have the best of intentions, you can make a misstep of manners. Here are four common business-etiquette blunders you should avoid:

1. Staying attached to your phone
The most common business faux pas today is that people don’t know when to put their phone away, according to Larry Distillio, director of financial advisor business management with Mackenzie Investments in Toronto.

Even if your ringer is turned off, a phone left lying on your desk or a boardroom table is a distraction to those around you. With or without the frequent vibrating or flashing, the phone’s mere presence shows that you’re not providing your undivided attention to others in the room.

2. Responding to a voicemail message by email
If a client or colleague leaves a message on your voicemail, don’t answer their query by shooting him or her a quick email, Distillio says. Pick up the phone and return the call.

It’s important to respond to a message in the medium that was used to contact you. “It shows that you respect their choice of communication,” Distillio says. “If they prefer to be spoken to rather than [addressed] through an email, you don’t want to devalue that relationship with an email or a text message.”

3. Remaining seated during an introduction
Always stand up when you’re being introduced to someone, Distillio says. All too often, advisors will meet someone new at a networking event or dinner, and remain seated during the introduction.

Standing shows that you respect the other person, and that you’re willing to make the effort to meet them at eye level.

“It shows a level of trust and symmetry,” Distillio says,” which helps build a foundation for future relationships.”

4. Showing up late
This may sound like common sense, but it’s easy to get caught running a few minutes behind in our busy, overscheduled lives.

“If someone is hiring you as a leader to guide them in their financial affairs,” Distillio says, “your job is to do what you said you’re going to do. If you said your appointment is at 2 p.m., your appointment is at 2 p.m.”

Be mindful of travel time when designing your calendar, Distillio adds, so that you’ll always have a cushion between appointments.

This is the first part in an occasional series on business etiquette.

Next Friday: Business etiquette in client meetings.