15 Bad Work Habits You Need to Change

15 Bad Work Habits You Need to Change

Bad habits, we all have them. Some more problematic than others, some even exciting. We love our little quirks, and though we claim we will change, sometimes we never do.

Maybe its procrastination, a little pilfering around family, snide comments or mildly hurtful jokes; these habits might not ruin your personal life, but at work, this could sabotage your career or even cost you your job.

Here are 15 bad work habits you need to change;

1. Lateness

Let’s be frank, whether it’s done as a habit or by situations beyond your control, arriving at work late constantly is not a good look. It is irresponsible and disrespectful to your employer and colleagues.

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2. Making Unreasonable Demands

We hate to break it to you like this, but ‘ paying your dues’ is a real thing in your career journey. Making unreasonable demands at work from your employers especially when you haven’t paid your dues is a sure fire way to sabotage your career. It makes you seem smug; a trait you don’t want to lead with.

3. Temper Tantrums

Working under pressure and working unsupervised are key skills employers value. Losing your temper at work shows you may not be able to handle the pressures, liabilities and responsibilities that come with the role. When under pressure, be resourceful and remain calm and poised.

4. Negative or Pessimistic Attitude

Being an accustomed gossip, grumbler or staunch critique might come off as ‘ outspoken and quirky’ in the beginning but move quickly to simply being a headache by your bosses and colleagues. Try to always maintain a positive attitude to work and give opinions only when you’ve been asked.

5. Not Being a Team Player

Team-based workspaces are the future. Having a habit of constantly wanting to be a lone -ranger
just won’t work at the office. Team playing requires positive attitudes and behaviours like helping out sharing credit etc.

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6. Mannerlesssness

A couple of bad habits can move you from employed to unemployed or stuck in a role when you could have advanced and being rude is high on that list. Appropriate workplace communication and etiquette are key. ‘Please’, ‘thank you, ‘excuse me’, etc, are phrases that should be firmly situated in your office vocabulary. Be very aware and deliberate.

7. Procrastination

This is a habit we battle with, in and out of the workplace but unlike in other situations, procrastination can seriously hurt you in the workplace. If you work with people, odds are your individual tasks are interdependent and your tardiness or last minute rush might hinder others from performing optimally and this could make them develop ill feelings towards you.

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8. Dishonesty

All sorts of dishonesty in the workplace is completely inadvisable. From misrepresenting your credentials, plagiarism, lying, stealing credit, inflating prices, to anything that could break the trust between you and your colleagues or employer should be completely avoided.

9. Poor Personal Habit and/or Presentation

Whether it borders on bad grammar, profanity, inappropriate work engagements, jokes in poor taste, or looking tacky, bad personal habits give you a bad look at the office and should be avoided at all costs.

10. Poor Body Language

Body language is extremely important. A weak handshake, bad resting face, eye rolling, routine sighing e.t.c. Body language is quite easy to pick up on but might be misconstrued. Body language like these can come off as rude to clients and coworkers and adversely affect your career.

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11. Inefficiency

Being efficient at your job should be your key goal when stepping into the workplace and everything else should take a back seat. This is also the goal of other members of the organisation serious about their job and having an inefficient co-worker can be very off-putting and isolate you from your colleagues, especially the focused ones whom you need on your side.

12. Talkativeness

Whether in the workplace or at social gatherings, unless you’re a comedian, no one like an overly talkative person; and when it comes to issues about the office, this should be nipped in the bud. Talkativeness could lead you to expose too much personal detail that no one wants to hear or leaking confidential information.

13. Not Being Sociable at Work

A part of being a team player is having a healthy relationship with your colleague and being likeable, and to do this you should show genuine interest in your co-workers’ lives. However, remember to find a balance. There’s a fine line between interested and nosy.

14. Not Respecting Authority

In the corporate world a hierarchy exists, from the people in the entry level position to those sitting on the board. You need to know your place in the organisation and act accordingly. You should never go over your bosses head except he/she is being unethical or sabotaging the company and you would not be jeopardised in the process of speaking out.

15. Poor Office Communication Skills

Here, we’re speaking about the more specific skills needed in workplace correspondence, like email etiquette for example. This can be anything from not responding to emails on time, being uncouth when responding, to poor grammar. These would make you come off as unprofessional or not invested in the role you have

This list of bad workplace habits is not entirely exhaustive and not particular to any specific group or person. So let’s personalise this:

Write out some poor work habits that you have and how you can consciously try to stop them, make them a part of your short term goals and give your self a small reward when you find yourself conquering them.

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