Ditch These 8 Unprofessional Work Habits—Your Co-Workers Will Thank You


Some weeks, you log more hours at work than you do at home. But just because you may spend a lot of time at your office doesn’t mean you can just kick up your feet and let your guard down. After all, you want to be taken seriously—and be liked. In fact, Kristin Kaufman, founder and president of the leadership coaching company Alignment, Inc., says it’s more important to be well-liked at work than anything else.

According to Kaufman, “The next time someone says being liked doesn’t matter so long as you’re respected, I suggest they ask one simple question: if there is someone else that can do the job AND be well-liked, for whom would we want to work for and serve?” Now, thanks to Business Insider's tips for which work habits to drop immediately, it’ll be easy to up your likability factor in just a few simple steps. Scroll through to see the top eight work habits to eliminate from your routine—you’ll thank us later. 

Showing up late: Traffic or transportation delays are an excuse once in a while, but consistent lateness makes it seem as though you just don’t care (and forces co-workers to fill in for you).     

Calling in sick: This is perfectly fine if you are sick; but if you’re playing hooky to see the new art exhibit or just because, it’s not fair to those who have to pick up the pieces.

Being messy: This is a sign of being disorganized—and you don't want to give off that impression. Spend a minute or two every evening before you leave cleaning up clutter and debris (we like this pretty file sorter for organizing random papers). 

Interrupting others: Is there anything more rude than cutting someone off mid-sentence? If a thought pops up, write it down and say it—after the other person has finished speaking. 

Being loud: The occasional rustling—especially in shared spaces—is common, but try to be as considerate as possible. Chat with colleagues over messenger apps, eat lunch away from your desk, and always ask Would this noise distract me from my work?

Making personal calls: No one wants to hear you book your doctor’s appointments (or chat with your sitter, for that matter). Make a list of any calls you may need to make that day, and go into a private room to conduct them. 

Having poor email etiquette: Stop pressing the urgent button when it’s not, sending emails at all hours of the day, or just being downright rude. Emails skew more abrupt, so schedule an in-person meeting if a subject is particularly touchy. 

Asking too many questions: Only ask questions if you’ve tried to figure something out first. Everyone will appreciate your due diligence. 

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