The 6 new bad office habits you might be making (and how to change them)

Date: November 18, 2015 Categories: Business | Managing Business Growth & Expansion | Small Business Series
Over time, office culture changes. What was considered a bad office habit when I first started as an entrepreneur has drastically changed and has been replaced with a new array of habits giving cause for concern.

New technologies also bring new opportunities to form bad habits at work. From the colleague who hasn’t discovered how to turn his new ringtone to silent, to the intern with headphones blaring louder than the office radio, there’s no shortage of ways to disrupt your company’s workflow. In my experience, office habits can greatly help or hinder your company’s success.

The worst part is, you may be a guilty party without even knowing it!

Here are 6 new bad office habits that might be undermining your career and how to change them.

1) Constant complaining

Do you have something to say about everything? If you can feel others around you getting bored of listening to you, you might be complaining too much. With 28 successful companies under my belt, I understand that work can be frustrating at times, but I also know that a little positivity goes a long way. Try to keep negative comments to yourself, but if you must let it out, be sure to only speak with a trusted friend.

2) Eating pungent food at your desk

Unfortunately, I can’t control my employees’ taste buds. Eating at your desk has become commonplace in some companies, simply because it’s a time saver (although not a very healthy one in my opinion). However, if you have a strong-smelling lunch, the least you can do is eat it in the lunchroom, or outside if it’s a nice day.

3) Not being social enough

It’s true that we are busier than we’ve ever been since we’re always available, thanks to technology. However, this shouldn’t be used an excuse to ignore your office colleagues. If you don’t take the time to see how his or her day is going because you’ve got too much work, it will come across as rude. Friends in the workplace will also be more apt to lend a hand to alleviate your workload if they notice you’re stressed. Be social, make friends, and remember to be positive, because your attitude is also a factor when it comes to getting yourself a raise or promotion.

4) Providing too much information

There is a difference between being friendly and social, and simply providing too much information. With the advent of social media, people tend to be a lot more open about their personal lives in the workplace. It’s good to feel comfortable with your boss and co-workers, but there are certain topics you need to avoid in order to advance your career. My advice is to always steer clear of the three big “hot buttons” in the workplace: sex, religion, and politics.

5) Not paying attention to personal grooming

Fashion trends come and go, but looking professional in business is timeless. This statement may seem bold, but I've never hired someone with a beard. A clean shave is a sign of morning routine and discipline, which translates into a good work ethic. Arrive at work not only ready to work, but looking like it, too.

6) Coming in late and leaving early

Working flexible hours is becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace – but don’t take advantage of this new-found freedom. If you find yourself coming in late, leaving early and not making up the hours, you’re committing an office faux pas, and your boss most certainly notices, not to mention your begrudging coworkers. Studies show that the extra 5-minute sleep in the morning will not make you feel more awake, but it can add significant stress to your morning routine.

If you’re hoping to get ahead in your career, take note of these habits and focus on changing them. While I know no one is perfect, you don’t want your bad habits to outshine your brilliant work.


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