Even if you’ve been working far too long somewhere the most hard-working, talented, and highly skilled people can still get a little lazy when it comes to having a balanced work-life ethic.
And since feeling very relaxed and comfortable is a great sign that your work is panning out nicely for you, it’s always a good idea to ensure that you don’t go outside your boundaries and do unethical things at work.
Let’s ‘check-in’ and see some of these office don’ts (even if you’re the boss) so you can find out what unprofessional things that you may be doing or not doing to guarantee success in the workforce.
Important note before you head into the tips — These workplace tips may not apply to all industries but these key points do address, in most cases, what is considered to be a bad work-life ethic. Apply the tips that are relevant to your working environment and you should see great results!
1. You’ve got to stop Interrupting your staff or co-workers.
Let’s get this little annoying habit out the way first because are you aware that the average employee gets distracted every three minutes in the workplace? Not only that but it also takes roughly 23 minutes to get back to the right frame of mind after they get interrupted.
Moreover, even the most organized and concentrated people lose two to three hours a day regularly because of “time bandits”, and you’ll look terrible if you disturb other employees at work for no good reason.
In short, don’t be a “time bandit” unless it’s really worth it and contributes to great work results.
2. Don’t stroll into meetings 10 minutes late and act like it’s nothing.
Studies have often shown that people who are kept waiting in a meeting for 10 minutes or more, while someone perpetually always runs late, will let it slide the first few times. So if you don’t make running in late, a habit, you can get away with it the first couple of times.
That said, the cold hard truth is if you are not running late more than those first couple of slip-ups and you don’t have a solid good reason for it, you are coming across as rude and selfish to your coworkers, especially if it’s happening more than you’d like.
Try not to make ‘running late’ a regular thing because it will surely start to irritate the people you work with and inadvertently make you look bad at work.
3. Always strive to make the new hire feel welcome.
There’s a good reason why there are hit shows called Undercover Boss. The bosses want to know how their employees make others feel, especially when it comes to new hires, after all, these bosses are acting as a new employee themselves.
And just imagine needing to use the restroom on your first day of work and not knowing where to go, and no one is giving you a warm welcome or showing you around.
You’d be surprised how often this happens. In fact, there are numerous reasons why people in the workplace neglect to go out of their way for new staff members. They can feel threatened, the company may have a high turnover rate so why bother or they are just plain lazy to go out of their way to help them.
But not putting in the effort to make a new hire feel welcomed will make you look bad and no matter how high up the ladder you are, if you always put yourself in other’s shoes and treat others the way you would want to be treated, you’ll get the same respect.
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4. Stop oversharing your personal life immediately.
We all know that it’s sometimes hard not to chat about your personal life with those we spend the majority of our time with and this is totally relatable because if you feel close to your colleagues because you spend so much time in the workplace with them, stay distant to prevent becoming too entangled.
If you do share too many details and too much information, it can hurt your career at work if you spill some things that you didn’t want others to know, especially your boss.
5. Start taking accountability to be respected.
Accountability is an awesome trait to have when you make mistakes because it is often looked at as a sign of maturity and is widely respected in the workplace.
So if you are currently making excuses, and not taking ownership of your mistakes, know that it can not only turn into a bad pattern. And if you are not being aware or cautious about it, it can inadvertently make you look bad at work.
To turn this around, always take full ownership of your mistakes and the little mishaps that occur at work. You’ll be surprised how good this can turn your work environment into a positive space when you do.
6. Don’t compromise your health by overworking — Your health should be your first priority.
Working overly long tenacious hours is not just bad for your overall well-being but it’s also bad for your mental health.
And although overworking can make you “look busy”, if you can’t come up with a healthy solution for a better work-life balance, know it can simultaneously make you seem superhuman which can inadvertently double your workload.
Most bosses will give you more work if they think you can handle the workload but no job is worth your health and mental well-being, especially if you suffer from work burnout on a regular basis.
Maybe it’s time to press down on those work breaks for a while and set better boundaries with the workloads you are being tasked to do.
7. Stop heading home earlier than expected.
Are you taking full advantage of not having a standard clock-in and clock-out time at work?
If so, you are not alone. Recent studies have also suggested that a large percentage of businesses have increased for not calling holidays and weekends as urgent as they once were and instead these businesses are easing restrictions on workday hours to help their employees have a better work-life balance.
How does this make you look bad? Well for starters, this topic can be debated at length but let’s just say you shouldn’t take a “mini-holiday” every day before the workday ends just because you don’t have someone watching you clock you out.
In fact, according to numerous work studies, if you are the person who leaves work “early”, you will often be the one that misses out on current events, and believe it or not, you’ll be most “talked about” because you won’t be present for those conversations.
To counteract this, work specialists say to spend extra hours at work from Monday to Wednesday, and later in the week leave early if your company allows for it. Doing so should allow you to lead a more fairly structured work-life balance.
8. Don’t show up dressing and looking sloppy.
As the boundaries between work and home start to blur, so do the lines between comfort and professionalism. And when it comes to being professional at work, comfortable is one thing, but sloppy is another.
If you think having to dress up for work every day is a pain, try getting a few classic staples that’ll make your wardrobe look sharp and expensive. You’ll look professional for doing so and dressing formally for work will also help you mentally separate your work-life from your leisure life.
9. The same applies if you put little effort into your hygiene.
And to top it off when it comes to the workforce, research also shows that it takes only seconds for people to form an opinion of you and of your level of expertise. So if you smell bad or have food in your teeth, especially during that important work meeting or interview, try to avoid this at all costs.
Comb your hair and have some makeup in your office drawer. Smelling clean and looking clean for those important one-on-one work meetings will enhance the way people connect with you.
10. Stop sending late-night work e-mails or work messages to your co-workers — it will only irritate them.
Did you know that if you constantly send late-night work emails to your coworkers or employees it shows poor management skills?
With saying that, you’ll also be reminding your clients, staff, and coworkers of work during their downtime as well which if we’re are being really honest, no one really wants!
Plus, the worst typos come out (late at night), especially if you are typing an email fast while you’re feeling sleepy, so it’s best to stick within regular business hours when it comes to communicating with your staff or coworkers so that everyone is in the right frame of mind.
11. Nix overindulging in workplace gossip.
This is a huge no-no, but we all do it — work gossip.
A lot of staff tend to arrive on Monday morning and gather around the water cooler to share their weekend stories but before they know it, their whisper spreads throughout the office, making its way through the grapevine.
Whatever is being said, it could look a little malicious, and believe it or not, it has been added to people’s HR files because they were being reckless with their gossiping. So nix workplace gossip and always be mindful of who you trust.
12. Don’t talk over people just because you’re ‘the superior’.
This is very common in the workforce. Junior team members can inevitably be sent a ‘strong message’ that their opinion doesn’t matter because they are in lower work positions.
And yes, even though you do have to work hard to earn your respect in your chosen field, it doesn’t warrant talking over junior staff members to maintain authority.
Respect is a two-way street. Give respect and you will have earned it.
13. If it’s not a part of your job criteria, stop checking your social media accounts at work.
Statistics say the average employee will lose two to three hours of work progress if they monitor their social media channels while at work. And while workplace use of social media is now ‘mainstream’, its use has gotten way too out of control at the office.
In short, social media shouldn’t be used as a time-waster, so give yourself some time away from the device to get some good work in. Doing so will help you excel even faster in the workplace.
14. Try not to post about your job on social media if you don’t really need to.
Often times our work-life can creep its way into our personal lives online and even though that’s a normal way of life now, we still have to remind ourselves and be mindful that there is still a fine line between the two.
Always remember that what you do outside of the office can hinder your success inside the office. And who you know and are connected with online can also negatively affect you at the office.
So if you can properly separate the two on social media and keep your office rants to your closest friends and family (and not online) you’ll be well on your way to being more professional at work, and who knows, maybe even land that upcoming promotion!
There you have it. Regardless of how long you’ve worked at any position, it’s always going to be important that you keep things professional by following a few of these dos and don’t at work.
If you have a focus on that upcoming promotion, you’ll land it by steering away from some of these office no-nos and enjoy a better work-life for doing so.
Check out these 12 Best Productivity Tips for Working from Home, next!
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