We all have bad habits we need to break—especially in the workplace. Some of us procrastinate; others show up late to work. You might be reading this and thinking about some of the really annoying traits of your fellow coworkers, but the truth is, you’re probably guilty of some bad habits, too.
Whatever the case, it’s time to break those bad habits—because whether you believe it or not, they’re most likely effecting your work, the relationships you have with your colleagues and even your ability to get promoted and ahead in your organization as a woman leader.
10 Bad Workplace Personas
Does one of these describe you?
1. The Procrastinator: Almost everyone does it at some point, but procrastinating is a habit that is hurting both you and your coworkers. Learn to be more proactive, especially on assignments that impact others on your team or the greater population of your company. You’ll be less stressed and ultimately more successful.
2. The Latecomer: You never want to be late when it comes to your career. Showing up late is a horrible habit that makes you seem unreliable. In interviews, meetings, conferences or even for your day-to-day schedule, you should always arrive on time. In fact, aim to show up to work or meetings 5–10 minutes early. A flex window like this will account for unanticipated obstacles, while still getting you to where you need to be—on time.
3. Miss Unprepared: Another thing that makes you appear unreliable is showing up unprepared. Come ready with completed assignments, documents, a pen and paper, etc. This also includes doing background research before arriving at interviews and meetings. Always be mentally and physically prepared for the work at hand.
4. The Noisemaker: There’s nothing worse than sitting next to someone who’s loud and otherwise obtrusive. Pen tapping, chair swiveling, foot kicking and excessive conversations can drive anyone crazy. Try to be more aware of the noises you create throughout the day, and you’ll avoid aggravating your peers.
5. The Loud Caller: Similar to The Noisemaker, The Loud Caller is also noisy and makes it extremely hard to concentrate. You always need to be aware of your surroundings when making phone calls, especially when you’re in close proximity to your coworkers. Watch your volume and the length of your calls. If it’s going to last a long time, try taking the call in a conference room or somewhere that won’t bother others. If it’s not work related, take it outside.
6. The Slow Responder: If a client, coworker or manager sends you an email, leaves a voicemail or any other form of communication, respond as quickly as you can. Your response time affects their productivity, so try to be respectful of their time by responding in a timely manner. A good rule of thumb for emails is to respond within 24 hours, but skim them immediately to make sure the deadline is not sooner.
7. The Complainer: It doesn’t matter if you’re upset about work or your personal life, you should not complain about it in the workplace. Most people don’t care, and your peers will start to see you as a negative person. Cut out the gossip and use work time for work.
8. The Lazy Writer: In a world of emails, social media, texts and instant messaging, it’s important to be aware of your writing skills in all settings. Always use proper spelling and grammar when communicating with coworkers. Abbreviations don’t cut it—even in text messages. When you slack off, others will assume you don’t know how to write well.
9. The Non-Sanitarian: Did I say there’s nothing worse than someone who makes noise? I was mistaken. Someone with poor hygiene in the workplace is much, much worse. Shower daily, brush your teeth and wash your hands, people. It’s not difficult—and hopefully these are habits you picked up before the age of seven.
10. The Rude One: No matter where you go in life, always remember your manners. Say “please” and “thank you” all the time. Little things like this go a long away, especially at work. Don’t be presumptuous, and always demonstrate your gratitude when interacting with colleagues.
There are plenty of other bad habits in the workplace. Determine what yours are and figure out what you need to do to break them. Becoming a better coworker and an employee with fewer bad habits will allow you to reach new heights in your career and in your professional relationships.
What are your bad workplace habits?