Resource: Featured Articles
Bad Work Habits You Need to Break
Friday, January 20, 2012
When you're comfortable at work, you might feel relaxed enough to the point where you develop habits that might be acceptable in other aspects of your life but not quite in a professional enviroment. When evaluating the goals you want to make for yourself, make sure to factor in areas of work you want to improve on as well. These are some work habits that are common, but reflect badly in any workplace.
Turn on your work switch inside your brain in the morning before you go to work. Don't show up without a clue of what you'll be doing that day. Many people who leave their office around 4-6 p.m. don't have an idea of what's in store for the next day. Make sure you know what you're doing the following morning before you leave work, and remind yourself before you go in.
Stuck On the RE: Button All Day
While you may feel that answering every single email that comes your way makes you look responsive, it also makes you less productive. If you're dealing with nothing but emails all day, you're not able to focus on other goals.
Putting Work Low on Your List of Priorities
Everyone has a life outside of work that can also be time and thought consuming, not to mention the occasional emergency. But it's annoying to have to fill in for someone who is late every morning due to something that, with enough effort, could be dealt with without interfering with work. It's important to see the dentist, but try to schedule appointments on the weekends if possible. After all, you can't get dental coverage if you're not showing up to your job on a consistant basis.
Abusing Work-from-Home Privileges
Even though you could save time working form home by cutting out on commutting. But how much time are you really saving with all the distractions that being at home can have? Working from home makes it all too easy to get sidetracked by the laundry, or a quick errand, or the TV. Some people might have their own office area where they actually can get work done, but not everyone. If you work from home, make sure you put in a full day's work and make yourself accessible to your colleagues during work hours.
Late to Work/Meetings
Showing up late for anything looks bad and it's even worse for meetings when it involves a team or group of people. Being a few minutes lates causes a "domino effect." Meetings later on that day may be thrown off schedule because the earlier ones ran late and those that are on time don't like that their time seems wasted.
Going From Low to No Maintenance
Employers who are faced with workers who don't take care of their health or hygiene find themselves unwilling to handle such a touchy subject. A sloppy appearance can cause a poor first impression and if your hygiene is bad that can reflect your health too. How well-kept an employee is reflects the standards of that of the company as well and they're not going to want to work with someone who isn't quite up to par on their idea of clean and healthy. If you feel your habits fall less than expectations, ask a friend for feedback so it isn't so awkward.
Making a Joke That Isn't So Funny
Remember that humor is relative so be careful about the kinds of jokes you make. Always shoot for something PG-13 and is suitable to strangers. In the workplace, there's always the risk that someone might take it the wrong way and it may get you into some hot water. Lay off the vulgar or crude humor, and especially racially targeted jokes. And tread softly on senstive subjects like politics and religion, the more objective your approach, the safer you'll be from offending anyone.
Not Caring About Your Work
People enjoy working with others who are enthusiastic about their jobs. It's said that you're only as strong as your weakest link, and the same can apply for attitudes. If the guy sitting next to you is always in a bad mood or is apparently indifferent to his role in the company, it's hard to bounce your own positive energy off of that. Try not to be that guy by showing pride in your work, presenting yourself well, and communicating clearly. Do your best and you might even surprise yourself.