Eight Must-Read Tips to Break Free from Damaging Workplace Habits


It’s likely that you’ve put a lot of hard work into becoming an outstanding employee already. You’ve studied productivity tips on your days off and cracked the code to professional communication while at work. Now, you’ve started to notice that there are a few behaviors that cause your colleagues and boss to think differently about you, but don’t fret. While there are bad habits that could ruin your reputation at work, there are ways to break them. Keep reading to find out eight common and risky habits and how you should break them ASAP.

Not Proofreading

Spelling and grammar can be an absolute nightmare, and any mistakes can make even the smartest people sound less intelligent. Fortunately, not proofreading your reports and documents is a habit that’s easily broken. You can quickly train yourself to ensure you proofread your material before submitting the final document for review. If necessary, stick a Post-It to your computer as a reminder. Outside of using the integrated spellcheck that comes with your version of Microsoft Word, you can also try websites such as Grammarly which are designed to spot both spelling and grammatical errors.

Chowing Down at Your Desk

Getting away from your desk or workplace is highly essential, regardless of the type of work that you do. It’s good for both your physical and your mental health. Past research has shown that breaking up important projects into time segments of no more than two hours, and then taking a break, can actually boost your productivity. Getting away from your desk to grab a quick bite or a coffee instead of eating at your desk causes you to be more in tune with your project, and mentally stimulated enough to focus entirely on the task at hand.

Skipping Out on Vacation

Many companies offer their full-time employees paid time off as a part of their compensation package. In fact, if you’re working for a company that doesn’t support taking time off, it’s recommended that you start looking for a new job. Giving yourself a proper break is needed. It’s beneficial to your productivity, health, and well-being. Not to mention, it’s money that you’ve earned. The business that you work for should be as concerned about your health and wellness as you are. If you don’t take time off, you could burn out, and grow resentful towards your position.

Wasting Time

While the internet is a useful tool, it, along with social media, is also highly addictive and a distraction. You might think that you’re just popping onto Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook for a few minutes to quickly catch up on what’s happening, but those minutes add up. It’s possible that the time you waste on social media is preventing you from finishing tasks on your to-do list, or even keeping you at work for longer than you need be. Taking breaks after a few hours of work is suggested, so if you want to check your social media feed, make sure that you’re doing so while on your break and away from your desk.

Falling Victim to Perfectionism

Everyone wants to be perfect at what they do, but there is a saying that says “nothing is perfect,” and it’s true. If you fail to finish a project or present a solid idea to your colleagues because it’s not entirely perfect, it could have an adverse effect. It’s vital that you always work hard to do the best that you can, but it’s equally as crucial not to allow the idea of perfectionism to take away from great work that your co-workers and manager would support.

Attending Unnecessary Meetings

Many managers are going to tell you that a valuable employee and team member is one that knows how to prioritize, be productive, and be a self-starter on their own. There’s no need for you to go to every meeting that you get an email invite for. In fact, there are plenty of meetings that you can probably get away with missing. If you receive an invite, simply ask yourself if it’s genuinely crucial for you to attend, and if it’s worth putting off your other projects for it. Also, ask if you can take five minutes later to catch up on the footnotes. Making decisions on your own is a positive attribute, and it shows your boss that you’re capable of making these decisions that don’t just benefit you, but help the team, as well.

Battling with Face Time

Face time can cause two different bad habits, both of which need to be dealt with. There is the issue where you might be putting in face time without being productive or present to the situation at hand. The other bad habit is the issue of not putting in enough face time. The first issue is one that might not get noticed right away because you are there, though it’s imperative that you use your face time wisely. The second one can severely impact your professional reputation. If you work with a team of highly dedicated and hardworking co-workers who appreciate collaboration, you could quickly cause resentment to build up. Professional relationships are important and can sometimes be hard to maintain. Put in the work to create the right amount of face time balance for you and your position, and your team should recognize how much of a valuable player you are.

Forgetting Your Resume

Research suggests that letting your resume go stale because you aren’t actively looking for a new position is a horrible work habit that you should break. Human resources experts have stated that it’s crucial to always be prepared, because you don’t know when the ideal internal opportunity is going to present itself. It’s also possible that external opportunities make their presence known, too. Showcase your updated credentials on your resume and ensure that your work samples include the work that you’re proudest of.

Everyone has a bad habit at work that they want to break; you’re not the only one. With the above tips, hopefully, you can kick some of those habits to the curb, and become an even stronger employee than you are now. It might seem complicated at first, especially when it’s something that’s part of your routine, but once the habit is gone, you, your colleagues, and your manager are going to thank you.


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Eight Must-Read Tips to Break Free from Damaging Workplace Habits

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