Bad habits to avoid at workplace

Who doesn’t have at least one habit that drives everyone else insane? You might bite your nails, slurp your coffee or tap your pen incessantly. Annoying? Yes. Serious problems? Not really.

In the office, however, some habits can go beyond annoying your co-workers; they can damage your career.

For the sake of your career and your co-workers’ sanity, here’s a list of bad work habits that can harm your career. If you are guilty of one (or more), it’s time to get them under control.

Missing deadlines

What you think: “If it’s only a little late, it doesn’t mean anything.”

What it really says: Your colleagues and boss can’t count on you.

What to do: Remind yourself that people are counting on you to do your job well, which includes completing tasks on time. Even if you just barely missed the deadline and everything turned out okay, you probably caused your teammates a lot of anxiety and extra work.

Not being punctual

What you think: “As long as I get all my work done, nobody cares.”

What it really says: You think your time is more important than everybody else’s.

What to do: Stick to the schedule. Everyone in your office would like to sleep in a little or leave early, but they don’t because people rely on them to be on time.

Checking your e-mail, playing games

What you think: “I am discreet.”

What it really says: You are not doing your job.

What to do: Most employers don’t mind if you check your e-mail once in a while. They begin to care when you minimise that game of Scrabulous every time they walk by your desk. You’re being paid to work, not play.


What you think: “I am just saying what I heard.”

What it really says: You can’t be trusted.

What to do: Everybody gossips a little here and there, but it shouldn’t be your livelihood. Eventually you will gain a reputation for not keeping anything confidential — whether it’s a personal matter or work-related. Plus, your chattering could end up hurting somebody’s feelings or even their reputation.

Being negative

What you think: “Everybody complains.”

What it really says: You are the person to avoid.

What to do: It’s natural to grumble about work once in a while. If you gripe and moan when you’re asked to do anything, however, people will not only get annoyed, they’ll wonder why you don’t just quit.

Trying to be everybody’s best friend

What you think: “I am just sociable.”

What it really says: You don’t know how to set boundaries.

What to do: It’s not uncommon for friendships to develop at work, but don’t expect it to happen with everybody. Treat your superiors, colleagues and subordinates like professionals.

Burning bridges

What you think: “I will never see them again.”

What it really says: You are not a professional who thinks about the future.

What to do: As much as you dream of telling off your boss or co-workers after you have resigned, don’t. People change jobs — someone you annoyed in the past may end up being your boss down the road.

Always being the funny one

What you think: “People love me.”

What it really says: You are really annoying.

What to do: There’s nothing wrong with being funny — most people like a good sense of humour. Remember that not everybody wants to hear your sarcastic quips every five minutes. — Agencies