Having bad work habits is not an abnormal thing! In fact, we all do have some bad Habit or the other. Although having bad habits does not label a person on being ‘terrible’, it does reflect badly upon an individual when it comes to his professional life and may even cost him or her the job! Obviously, a single bad work habit won’t get you lose your job immediately, but it is rather the cumulative effect of that bad work habit which can take its toll on you and your career. Usually, when people notice your bad work habits, it’s human nature to bring out the curiosity in them to notice or look for your other faults or issues. It may even lead you to live a life of isolation at work and eventually affect your performance evaluation which certainly matters. The unfortunate part is that most people hardly realise that they have certain bad work habits! So, one of the sanest pieces of advice that you can give to people who wish to progress within an organisation is to be more self-aware and to ensure practising habits that prove to be valuable for the company.
To bring about a sense of self-awareness, let’s take a look at a couple of bad work habits which may lead you to lose your job.
Negativity: A lot of people have the habit to complain, whine, or gossip. If you have any of these habits, it may lead you to lose your job. No manager wants an employee who brews negativity within the team and impacts the overall atmosphere. Employees with a negative attitude are compared to cancer by managers, and hence they are eventually cut off. If at all you have a complaint against someone, it is a good idea to speak to your manager in private, instead of gossiping with colleagues to gather support.
Procrastination: Having this habit will hurt you in a work setting. If you have the habit of procrastinating or putting off your assignments or tasks until the last hour, you may not be consciously aware that this habit of yours may impact your colleagues. If your project suffers or fails owing to your habit of procrastination, you will be the first one to be blamed by everyone.
Lying: If you have the habit of intentionally plagiarising, lying pertaining to your billable hours, misrepresenting your credentials, misusing expense accounts or credit cards, stealing the credit of your co-workers, it may cost you your job. If you have the habit to lie in big ways and small, it may put your career at stake.
Poor e-mail Communication: This habit entails everything right from not responding to emails on time to not being aware of your conduct in an email. The habit of taking too long to respond to emails leads to confusion or delays and projects you as unprofessional.
Addiction to Social Media: A lot of employees these days have the obsession to browse and spend too much time on social media at work. Companies nowadays have taken strict measures to monitor or limit employees from using social media sites at work by blocking these sites completely. So you must be cautious if you too have this habit.
Sluggishness: If you have this constant habit of arriving late to work, or take long breaks, you end up projecting an attitude of being careless and complacent. Arriving late to work shows disrespect not only towards the organisation but also towards other people’s time.
Inattentiveness: If you are inattentive all the time, you may fail to assess the culture of your organisation which can be detrimental towards your career. Every workplace has its style and culture, its dress code, and even a certain official and unofficial hierarchy. If you fail to observe the company culture, it may mark you as potentially less desirable or different than the rest.
Poor Body Language Habits: If you have bad body language, and you communicate mostly via non-verbal cues, your managers and colleagues or even clients may perceive your non-verbal cues as unprofessional or rude and may have a significant impact on your career. Hence, you must be aware of your body language as it may be distracting or offensive to your colleagues.
Poor Language: If you are someone who uses slang often or disrespectful in your tone, you may project yourself as uneducated and unprofessional.
Temper Tantrums: If you lose your temper easily and quite often, it projects you as someone who cannot work well under pressure or even handle responsibilities properly. If you have this habit, you must practice meditation, stress reduction, or even deep breathing exercises.
Inefficiency: If you are someone who wastes time, disorganised, and too talkative, it projects you as incredibly inefficient. You may not realise that this habit of yours may be offensive to your colleagues as they feel obligated to speak to you at the time of working. People come to work and not to socialise.
Being a Loner: If you have the habit of working independently, it won’t work for you in an office environment. While it is good to be independent, it does not work when you need to perform cohesively in a team. Within a team, you need to be a team player. If you cannot be a team player, you will not receive the support of your colleagues in times of need.
Foot in Mouth Disease: If you have the habit of speaking without thinking, you need to keep your tongue in check at the workplace. If you fail to do so, you may end up saying something inappropriate to your colleagues or clients which may be detrimental to your career.
Poor Manners: If you do not have basic manners of courtesy, it projects you as rude. If you cannot be nice to people, you should avoid saying anything at all.
Now that you have an awareness of what all bad habits you need to watch out for, you must take any feedback that you receive regarding your habits seriously. Instead of being defensive, try to work on them.
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