Everyone has at least some bad workplace habits. We may not even be aware of how we are portraying ourselves to others. Trying to catch yourself before engaging in the bad habits is difficult, but worth the effort. After all, everyone shares the same (sometimes cramped) office space and stressful workload. The actions of one person can affect the entire company culture. Here are a few bad habits you can acquire over the years. In some cases, these behaviors can even cost you your job. The first step to change bad habits is realizing that you have them!
COMPLAINING & CONTRIBUTING
Everyone complains about something. It’s human nature. But being a source of negativity affects those around you, and focuses a negative light directly on you. Instead, try being solution-oriented, rolling up your sleeves, and contribute positive energy and efforts in the workplace.
Communication between you and your colleagues is key to a successful workplace. If you promise to meet a deadline, keep it. If for some reason you need an extension, let people know in advance rather than after the fact. Proper communication can save someone else from doing double work, which can lead to conflict. Similarly, hoarding work or refusing to let go of something sends the message that you’re not a team player. What’s important is that the work gets done. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. Teamwork makes the dream work!
LACK OF PUNCTUALITY, FOCUS, & ENTHUSIASM
If you know you are going to be late, make sure to let your supervisor know. Being perpetually late for work or for scheduled events is not acceptable. Punctuality, or lack thereof, sends a clear and precise message about your character and desire to function as a valued employee.
Everyone has days where they feel less than motivated, but if this is a habitual condition, it will show in the work you produce and impact how others perceive you. As hard as it might be sometimes, try proactively looking for something you can get excited about. Your fellow employees will notice and mirror your excitement. Remember, a smile or a laugh inspires others. Be the inspiration!!
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you overcome those mistakes that will define you. Once you acknowledge the mistake, you can set about the task of correcting it. Don’t look for other to blame. Leaders take ownership.
Also, if you’re unsure what’s being asked of you on a specific project, or don’t know how to use a certain piece of equipment, speak up. There is an old saying, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”. This is very true. Seek clarification to avoid wasted time and disappointing results. If you make a mistake don’t try to hide it thinking your boss won’t find out. The best way to handle this situation is to be direct, apologetic, and bring a solution that will help prevent the mistake from happening again.
In most businesses cursing is frowned upon. It sends the message that you are not only an unprofessional communicator, but that you aren’t self-aware enough to know that kind of language may be offensive to your colleagues. For the sake of the friendly work environment, find new and better ways to express yourself. This applies to bad-mouthing the company, manager, or boss. It’s better to keep your complaints about the workplace to yourself or in a suggestion box. Gossip is not a positive habit, and not everyone you work with may agree with how you’re feeling. It will always come back around to bite you. That doesn’t mean you have to like everyone, but you do need to get along with them professionally. A healthy environment creates more productivity in the workplace! Plus, you don’t want to be labeled as the employee that talks badly about all the other employees. You subconsciously work more productively when you can trust and count on your colleagues, they can trust and count on you.
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