Everyone has bad habits — that’s just part of life. But even in a place as laid back as the San Francisco Bay Area, bad behavior at the office can cause conflict and even hurt your career. Here are but seven obvious bad habits to be mindful of at work.
Rolling your eyes, spacing out, grunting, and sighing when being addressed are just some of the common body cues that can negatively impact your interactions at the office. Even if you are mildly disappointed with the change in direction on a project or are not excited about a task, it’s imperative to learn to remain alert, but also calm. Also, being withdrawn and disengaged may tell your boss and colleagues you are not interested in the work, pushing them to second-guess your projects.
PREFERRING TO WORK ALONE
While being able to work independently for long periods of time is a great skill to have, wanting to work alone all the time is not. Your employer will see you as not a team player and hesitate to bring you into new projects that involve teamwork. Not to mention, wanting to work by yourself will keep management from promoting you into any other role.
We’re talking “Social Graces” here, not about whether or not you fart a lot, eat like you just got out of prison, or typically cut in front of other people in line or when walking – although these too, are obvious negative behaviors in the workplace. Whether you are interacting with someone over email or in person, it’s important to say please and thank you. Also, try not to swear, cut people off mid-sentence, and raise your voice. People with bad manners eventually isolate themselves, because no one likes to work with them — making it easy for a company to let them go.
There are two aspects to workplace punctuality, the first being arriving on time for work each and every day. The second aspect concerns your performance and/or ability to work according to requirement. Even if you are one of those people who works best under pressure, doing things last minute is a bad habit that can get you fired — especially if your tardiness causes others to deliver their projects late. This is especially true if you work as part of a Team or as a member of a joint project: working steadily allows management opportunity to supervise your progress, insert modifications, or assist in additional development. Thinking that you can skate unnoticed only to turn in your work at the last minute is a sign of “superior thinking” and of someone who simply doesn’t get the Team concept. The Bottom Line is that everyone employed in an organization is part of a Team, so the sooner you get on the program, the more likely you will remain on the Team.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION
If you are checking your tweets or status updates more than once an hour, you probably have a social media addiction. And even if you think your boss and colleagues are not paying attention, you are mistaken. Aside from people eyeing you playing with your phone, many employers are able to track what websites their employees visit. And no matter how you spin it, it’s just not possible for someone to be productive when they are jumping on Facebook 20 times in a work day.
Bringing in smelly lunches, playing music too loud, or using the speaker phone setting to make your calls will put you on everyone’s bad side. If you are unsure if your behavior affects anyone around you, simply ask. Although your colleagues may not be saying anything, being inconsiderate will keep coworkers from wanting to work with you — possibly jeopardizing promotions.
STRETCHING THE TRUTH
Everyone stretches the truth once in a while. But if you do it too often, people will start to notice. They will know that when you said you took a five minute break, it was really 20. Eventually, you become unreliable and will not be trusted with important information — keeping you from advancing within the organization. Fact is, no one likes a Liar.
If you display any of these simple 7 bad habits to any degree, it is up to you to consider some real change if you hope to have some stability, security, and sanity in your professional life. And, it’s up to you to want it, so commit and take the first step to self-improvement …. for everyone’s sake!