Everyone has bad workplace habits, which develop over time at work when you get comfortable in your environment. It can sometimes happen without you even realising it and then suddenly you have bad habits in the workplace. An extra 10 minutes on your lunch break here and there, leaving that little bit early or procrastinating. It happens and alarm bells may only start to ring when it’s too late. This is why it is important to conduct yourself in a professional, positive, proficient and productive manner whilst at work and leave bad work habits behind.

1.Obsessive email checking 

Checking your emails 24 hours a day is bad office habit, and can destroy your productivity. In order to be productive at work, we need time throughout the day to not have our focus interrupted. Every time you check your emails, your productive flow is disrupted. The world will not fall apart if you don’t check your emails for an hour. Try to designate certain times of the day to check your inbox and answer emails. Do not to take the obsessive email checking habit home with you either. It’s important to draw a line between work and home life. Therefore, make sure you turn off your phone’s work email notifications when office hours are done for the day. Give yourself a clear break from emails, so that you can come in refreshed the next day. Incorpore’s management have recently ended all work-based message groups to discourage out of hours work discussions and those employees who carry a dedicated work phone have been discouraged from reading and sending emails once the working day has finished.

2. Procrastinating with tasks

We all put off doing boring tasks, whether it’s browsing through Facebook or gossiping in the kitchen whilst making coffee. It’s very easy to take breaks from it with something a little bit more fun. However, it is actually hindering your productivity and become a bad work habits. Yes, taking breaks from a computer is good for your productivity, but procrastinating too much is taking it too far. Tackling difficult jobs in the morning will make the afternoon better, and will give you a greater sense of achievement. Delaying tough tasks can also have an impact on your colleagues and rushing things last-minute can anger them. You don’t want your lack of enthusiasm for a task to have a knock on effect and disrupt your team. So, make sure you stick to all deadlines and especially those including others. When you get into work, write a list of tasks, and tackle the tougher ones first. Therefore, ensuring the harder ones are out of the way quicker and you are not developing bad work habits.

3.A cluttered desk

A messy desk is a bad work habits and isn’t a good look. Nobody wants to massive stacks of paper everywhere, dozens of dirty cups or sticky notes stuck all of your desk every day. It can portray an image that you are lazy, can’t cope or are swamped with work. It’s not a good impression to give directors, clients or potential new business. If your folders are all over the place and you can’t find anything, maybe it’s time to make a change and tidy up your workspace. Keep items on your desk minimal and make sure you always clean up dirty dishes/mugs. Yes, it’s nice to have the odd photo on your desk or sentimental ornament. However, it’s still a place of work and you don’t want it to look too crazy. Keep clutter to a minimum and ensure it’s all clean.

4.Spreading negativity

It’s not abnormal for people to gossip or complain in the workplace. However, constant negative behaviour can be draining and put a damper on everyone’s mood and isn’t a bad work habits you want to pick up. Negativity can be contagious, so when one person is unhappy and frustrated at work, it can end up bringing everyone down. People may start avoiding you or be reluctant to have a conversation, simply because of the negativity. If you are feeling negative and down, try to identify what is causing you stress and unhappiness. Just because you are feeling negative about an issue at work, don’t bring other people into it. Calmly assess the issue and try to resolve it yourself. You could even have a conversation with your line manager or HR, if you feel it is needed to sort the problem. Try to keep positive about everything, you could even start writing a list of things that have gone well that day.

5.Being late for work

Arriving late to work, or returning late from breaks, doesn’t set a good precedent and portrays an image of carelessness towards your job. Whether it’s intentional or not, arriving late is disrespectful to your employer and your co-workers who arrive to work on time. Being consistently late can hurt your career, so try to ensure you are on time for work in the morning, ditch this bad work habits, get up earlier and put on multiple alarms if you like to hit the snooze button. If you are constantly late and you get away with it, it can potentially cause friction between you and your colleagues. Not many people like willingly getting up early for work. Nonetheless, it is part of life and you get paid to do your job. So, try your hardest to be on time for work and don’t take advantage of a relaxed workplace.

Must Read: How to stay healthy when working at a desk

6.Inefficient behaviour 

When at work, employees should behave professionally and efficiently. Inefficiency can occur with bad habits such as disorganisation, wasting time and being too talkative. Everyone at your workplace, is there to work, not to socialise. Therefore, it is important to keep personal talks to a minimum and not spend too much time on non-work-related tasks. For example, don’t go and have a 30 minute chat in the kitchen about non work related topics. When those kitchen chats keep happening, your HR department will soon pick up on it.

Ditch these bad work habits and start thriving in the workplace!