Poor workplace habits

Daniel Adjei, Managing Partner, Spint Consult Limited

Daniel Adjei | Managing Partner | Spint Consult Limited | dadjei@spintconsult.com | +233-302-915421 | www.spintconsult.com

A work habit is any one of the behavioral, ethical, and practical elements applied by employees in contributing to job performance standards that meet company guidelines. A solid foundation of good work habits sets a precedence of efficiency, productivity, reliability, and teamwork.

Basic work habits can include cooperation, effective communication, following policy, organization, punctuality, regular attendance, and time management. Employees who utilize good work habits can extend their normal job duties and tasks by assisting their peers in an auxiliary role to optimize company efficiency and productivity to meet the bottom line (profitability).

Many people want to climb the hierarchical ladder and reach ultimate corporate domination. Isn’t that the dream for the majority of young business visionaries, or perhaps for you? Many people want this level of “success” but how can we achieve it when everyone is fighting for the same goal? The secret lies in the little things. Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you” – a quote that I look at every day as I have it taped to my desk. This quote is short yet powerful as it encompasses a wide variety of things. In order to fulfill this quote on a daily basis one must learn to free themselves from their own self-destructive nonsense. So, let’s start  our journey to the top together by identifying bad habits by EDUCBA that are holding you back at work.

1- Negative Work Habits – You Are Not Self-Promoter

You are great in your work and a valuable asset for your company, but if you do not adorn the trait of self-promotion to impress, no one will know about you. There are many workers or even creative people who continue to produce great works, but they are hardly known to the public, no one is aware of their value and how they can be great contributors. They are eligible for recognition. Whatever you are doing, the tasks you are working on getting it known to your seniors and manager. Whether the work is of minor or major in nature or these are just kudos from clients, reveal about the same to your manager or a boss. This will increase your credibility before your boss. You would surely be appreciated for your efforts.

By the end of the day give a few minutes of your time to note down all the work that you have done. This includes the tasks of both the minor or major in nature. When you will go through the list, you will yourself know your capabilities and weaknesses. With the list, you can measure your level of performance and skills. You can also compare your performance with any of your colleagues or seniors to know and understand where you are standing. This would also help you in making self-judgment and you will have a record to compare with your performance evaluation report, whenever it comes out.

In self-promotions, you have to demonstrate your expertise in an articulate way that includes adding points to discuss something or for posting comments or by generating entertaining or informative promotional spots.

Display your capabilities, skills, and attitudes that show that you can be a valuable asset for the people.

Be sensitive and receptive to the people with whom you are conversing. You can merely write a pitch or deliver it every time you meet somebody and always be ready to adapt yourself for a change.

Talk to the people about yourself, who you are, your direct audience and who needs or want to hear about you

If you are sensitive to the needs of the other people, do not just keep on bragging about yourself. Make sure that you are not taking more time by merely talking about yourself. Many people do this and that can kill your career.

2- Negative Work Habits – You often make rash decisions

Many employees have a habit of making rash decisions as they do not think about the consequences which can lead to their failed performances and even a loss to the company, and then they feel guilty. Taking a rash decision means you are listening to your heart and not your head that can either give you success which you owe to your luck or your failure. But if you listen to your brains and follow the negative work habits, you will never get a setback in life. So it is best to think of all the aspects of landing yourself in any occupation or coming to a conclusion. Always remember, do not say yes when you want to say no and do not say no when you think everything will going to be good for you. Say yes to the calculated and profitable moves that would take you to success.

Think and Then Act” is a Mantra which is very important to follow for success.

3- Negative Work Habits – Adopting A Negative outlook

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Adopting a negative outlook is one of the negative work habits examples and showing aggressiveness in projects creates an unpleasant environment and a distance between you and your colleagues. Some employees have a habit of complaining. They will keep on complaining and making excuses on one pretext or the other. If any part of the project goes wrong somewhere down the line, then to they will complain of an instance, the network was not proper or subordinate did not carry the task in an orderly way. These complaints or mutterings create an unpleasant situation, unnecessary distractions and can distance you from your colleagues and seniors/subordinates. Overall trust is not developed. The same is true for bad humor. Light humor is good as it is a stress buster and releases you from all kinds of tensions or stress, but the humor in the form of abusing other colleagues or making bad remarks creates an environment of distrust and you would be considered in a bad light. Even people who are working under you will lose all respect for you. If the complaints continue then the time would come when your boss would also get frustrated and could fire you.

So instead of complaining, discuss the problems with your manager/boss and find out the alternative solutions. If there is an issue in a project, find the cause of the problem and try to solve it instead of grudging or complaining.

4- Negative Work Habits – Not Ready for A Change

Many employees follow the same work pattern, same procedure, and similar work habits examples; they are not ready for a change. They are so habituated by the already adopted style that they are not ready to try and think something out of the box. Moving on the same track all the time creates an impression that you are a follower and not a leader and you are not moving with the world. If you do not change you might see yourself in the same position even after ten years from where you have started. Change yourself even if it requires learning new skills and try to think out of the box. State your opinion, even if it goes contrary to the boss’s ideas or moves, but do so very articulately and as per the needs of the company. Try to convince your boss with facts and examples as how your idea can benefit the company.

5- Negative Work Habits – You Are always Lying

You often lie to your boss, maybe for a reason as small as taking sanction for a leave, which employees often do. The telling lie can save you for some period of time, but regular lies can land you in trouble. If you are caught you would destroy your credibility, and that’s something that you would never get back. Reputation and trustworthiness are bigger than money, you can still earn money if it is lost, but you can never earn respect and trust if it is lost. Even if you have stopped lying, no one will ever trust you again.

6 – Negative Work Habits – Always remaining disorganized

You are not at all an organized person, and often dilly-delay the things, losing the important paper at the nick of time, or coming late at the meetings or the office. And you show often negligence in the work. Whether the work is small or big, showing negligence destroys your credence. Sometimes you don’t do what you say or if you do that’s at least important or nothing of value. If you are negligent or disorganized it would amount to lack of output, production and workflow will be affected. And naturally the company can’t afford the loss, so your boss then has to warn you or throw you out of the job. Your home will also become a mess if you do not keep your personal belongings properly. A disorganized person is never successful whether at home or in an office, while an organized person will always shine.


Keep organized that’s the first lesson which is taught in schools, colleges and once a student lands up in his first job. Being organized does not take a lot of time and you can work efficiently, smartly, and quickly whether in office or home.

7 – Negative Work Habits – Involving in Gossips and Brick batting

It is said that gossiping is a common thing in offices, a little bit of gossiping releases stress but if gossiping becomes too much, it spoils the office environment and causes disregard for the person about whom you are gossiping. Too much of it also create distractions in work and causes distrust, jealousy, and envy. Suppose if you are talking something foul about your senior or colleague and that word spread all over no doubt the reputation of a person will be tarnished but if you have complained about it to the manager or HR you might also fall in trouble or can even lose the job. So avoid gossiping, talk good about others. If you behave nicely with your colleagues you will get the same reaction from the others too. Naturally, you will earn trust, reputation, and many friends.

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#8 – Negative Work Habits – You cannot work as a team

You are not able to adapt as per the team’s standards and also not able to carry along with your colleagues. Moreover, you are distancing yourself from others, constantly argue with them, do not respect team members and their ideas and continue to play tantrums causing disruptions or distractions. In any of the above cases, it is the whole team that suffers and loss is more if all are dependent on each other. In a team, you have to follow the rules and abide by the same. It is very important to help and give credit to your team members and be their support, complete the work as scheduled and also help others. Working with a team is challenging but the kind of exposure or experience it gives is quite valuable and beneficial for you.

We are all human beings, having our own set of weaknesses and positivity’s but if you are working in a company, you have to draw a line between your weaker points and positive points. Start working on the weaker points and improve and cherish your positive side. Never show weaker side of your personality as others might take advantage of your weakness. So be good, do good with a positive attitude towards yourself and life.

Mostly the habits we recall are personally focused, and things we connect with life outside the working environment. And yet, just as you can have poor lifestyle habits, you can have poor working habits that negatively impact your career.

An action becomes a habit when you do it repeatedly – often to the point that you don’t think about it.   That’s where the real danger lurks.

Poor working habits impact your productivity, working relationships and reputation.

A single bad habit is not likely to get you fired immediately, but the cumulative effect of the bad habit over time can,” says Dr. Katharine Brooks. Myers agrees that bad habits can destroy one’s career—but he says the “most unfortunate part is that people rarely realize they have these habits.” Individuals who adopt and demonstrate exemplary work habits on a consistent basis are valued by employers who, in turn, should reward employees with promotions to honor their service. For many people, developing good work habits is fundamental to job security, earning a favorable reputation with employers and coworkers, respectively.

A history of good work habits can be beneficial when conducting a job search for future employment opportunities. Qualified applicants can use a previous employer(s) coupled with personal references who will validate the potential candidate’s recent work status. However, many employees who retain a job position over a period of time fall into a routine, developing monotonous work habits, leading inevitably to carelessness.

As a result, workers are susceptible to work site accidents and incidents resulting in serious injuries and, in some cases, fatalities. In fact, research indicates that a majority (eighty percent) of injuries are directly caused by negligence or oversights to current safety protocol measures. Let us look at some good habits:

Working Safely

  • Working in a manner that prevents injury to self and others
  • Reporting unsafe conditions
  • Participating in health and safety training, as required
  • Using and wearing all required protective equipment and devices


  • Beginning and completing tasks with little prompting
  • Approaching new tasks with confidence and a positive attitude
  • Seeking assistance when necessary


  • Working willingly with others
  • Showing respect for the ideas and opinions of others
  • Taking responsibility for his or her share of the work
  • Contributing to the team effort by sharing information, resources, and expertise


  • Being punctual
  • Following directions
  • Giving attention to detail
  • Using time effectively and producing work on time
  • Acting in accordance with health and safety practices


  • Organizing work priorities when faced with a number of tasks
  • Devising and following a coherent plan to complete a task
  • Revising the plan when necessary to complete a task or to make improvements

Working Independently

  • Accomplishing tasks independently
  • Independently selecting, evaluating, and using appropriate materials, tools, resources, and activities
  • Using prior knowledge and experience to solve problems and make decisions


  • Asking questions and seeking clarification, where appropriate
  • Identifying and making use of appropriate resources and support when needed
  • Being proactive regarding individual rights and responsibilities, where appropriate


  • Recognizing and acting on opportunities
  • Showing perseverance
  • Being innovative and creative
  • Being versatile and resourceful

Customer Service

  • Listening effectively to determine and meet clients’ needs
  • Interacting positively with both co-workers and clients/customers
  • Endeavouring to meet and exceed expectations
  • Creating a positive impression of the company or organization


  • Being punctual
  • Following directions
  • Giving attention to detail
  • Using time effectively and producing work on time
  • Acting in accordance with health and safety practices

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