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Whether you are a freelancer or an office go-er, there are certain work etiquettes that you need to follow to pursue a successful career. Everyone has at least one bad work habit that can become detrimental to his/her growth. Even I have one. I am a work from home mom and there are times when I feel “Oh gosh I have not completed my work.” My problem is, I am not assertive. For Instance, when someone drops in when I am working, I am not assertive enough to tell them I am working and not in a position to entertain them. To complete my assignments, there are times when I have to work late at night and sometimes even on weekends. If I sit back and introspect, I know I will come out with a list of bad work habits. Here are a few bad work habits that many of us have and these bad habits have to be broken in order for us to succeed at our jobs.

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  • Poor Planning and Procrastination – How many of us plan for the following day? Before we shutdown our laptops or workstations for the day, do we take the time to make a list of things that needs to be done the following day on a priority basis? There are many of us who spend the first hour wondering what to do. If you want to improve your efficiency at your workplace, plan your next day before you leave the office. This is applicable to freelancers as well.
    Another habit that needs to be taken seriously is procrastination. Never ever procrastinate! There are many of us who believe you need to bother only about the end results. However, there are times when problems arise last minute. It is better to get out of the habit of putting tasks off until the very last moment.
  • Poor E-mail Habits – It is a fact that many of us check our official e-mails first thing in the morning. However, checking mails is hindrance to productivity. Keep a specific time to check and answer e-mails, say, before you leave for lunch and once before you windup for the day. Never be a sloppy e-mailer. Proof read and double check the recipients before clicking the send button.
  • Not Being and Taking Advantage of Leeway – Being late once in a while is okay. However, if there is an important meeting scheduled, ensure that you are on time. There have been times when a few people are late to the meeting and it gets postponed for sometime or for another day. When this happens, people who are on time feel that their time is being wasted. When you are late for work or meeting, your co-workers, colleagues and boss would associate that trait with you. Many companies have flexi-timings. That does not mean that you walk in at anytime and take plenty of breaks in between and leave early. These things are taken into account at the time of job promotion.
  • Dressing Unprofessionally – Though there are no strict or enforced dress codes in most companies, it does not mean you can go to the office in ripped jeans and tees. Dress professionally in business casual as if you are serious about your job. Even if you are working from home, dress suitably to make you feel that you are professional which will then reflect your personality.
  • Bad Mouthing and Gossiping – Gossip spreads like wild fire. Badmouthing your colleagues, co-workers and your boss is never a good idea. Keep your thoughts private when you are at work. Many use social media to rant about their problems but this may not be such a great idea. The internet is a very public domain and your personality will be exposed. Everyone gossips once in a while, but make sure that gossip is not your livelihood. Gossiping will give you a reputation of loose lips. People would lose their trust in you and would be reluctant to talk about a new project or any other major things in your presence.

Other bad habits include poor hygiene, being rigid, not being social, and being humorous at inappropriate times. These are a few habits that I can think of and these are the ones which can be done away with if you make an effort.

You are welcome to pen down the bad work habits that I have missed out and also cite ways to remove them.

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