7 Bad Work Habits that Have No Place in the Office

Picture this:
It’s 7:30 a.m. on a Monday morning and you’re at your desk hammering out a project that’s due to your boss by 9:00 a.m. You made the extra effort to come into the office early, but notice that your teammate for this project didn’t feel the same. You are vigorously wrapping things up when you see your coworker rolling into the office at 8:45. After making himself a cup of coffee and scrolling through his social media, he conveniently makes his way over to your desk just in time to hand the project over to your boss.

Regardless of where you are in your career, we’ve all experienced situations like the one above and have had coworkers that can be difficult to work with. But have you ever taken the time to self-reflect on your own habits at work? Could you be the annoying employee that your coworkers try to avoid?

Whether your answer to that question is yes, no or I hope not, here are 7 bad work habits to leave at home.
  1. Tardiness: Being on time to everything throughout your entire life is unrealistic, but constantly showing up late to work, a business meeting or a corporate event is disrespectful. Repeat tardiness will make you look unprofessional, and it won’t take long for your boss and fellow coworkers to catch on to your lack of discipline.
  2. Lack of Self-Awareness: In the workplace, it’s important to be conscious of your idle habits and sensitive to their effect on your coworkers’ environment. Activities like playing music, tapping your pens, eating pungent foods or using speakerphone can all be extremely distracting, especially in the workplace. Try to pay attention to your daily habits to ensure you are not making things unbearable or uncomfortable for those around you.
  3. Not Being a Team Player: Whether you enjoy working with a team or not, try asking yourself these questions – Do you help others when they are struggling? Are you willing to preform duties that aren’t assigned to you? Do you give credit where credit is due? If your answer is no to any of these questions, then you might be the coworker others hesitate to work with. Even if your job duties are primarily independent, employees that are too individually focused disrupt the culture of the workplace when they put their needs before the goals of the company. Lacking company focus will reflect how your company rewards your efforts.
  4. Procrastination: You know those people who claim they do their best work when under pressure? We can assure you that their coworkers don’t agree. You may feel like working under the pressure of a deadline draws out your best work, but in reality, your procrastination jeopardizes the entire project, especially if your coworkers, boss or clients are depending on your work.
  5. Unfiltered Behavior: This can involve everything from telling a dirty joke or an inappropriate story, swearing, raising your voice, rolling your eyes or indulging too much at an office party. Yes, these are all things that people may deem acceptable in other environments, but a professional environment is not the place for them. Work environments are comprised of a variety of different people and you never know who you may offend, upset or make feel uncomfortable – all of which can negatively impact your future at a company.
  6. Negativity: Are you the coworker that is constantly bringing everyone else down? If you’re repeatedly complaining about your job, your boss or gossiping about your coworkers – you probably are. Work can be a struggle at times for everyone, and constantly having to listen to a coworker’s complaints will make the days feel a lot worse. Side note: you also never know who is listening, so a seemingly private conversation with your coworker can turn into a much larger issue. 
  7. Social Media/Technology Addictions: It’s no secret that social media has become a prevalent part of our society’s culture. However, it’s almost impossible to argue that it’s not a distraction – especially since most of us go through our workday with constant access to the internet. Everyone deserves to take a break during the day, but checking your personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds multiple times a day isn’t productive and interferes with your ability to concentrate on the job you are hired to do. 

Trying to get away from your annoying coworker? Messina Group is a Chicago based staffing agency with more than 40 years of experience with contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire placements.