Checklists of What to Avoid in the Workplace

Knowing the ideal behavior in the workplace is beneficial to new graduates who just got their first job and also for existing employees.

For newly hired, it can help establish a good first impression to workmates, especially to your superior. As they say first impression lasts. Once you have that blueprint embedded in your colleagues, it will become easy for you to get along with most of them. Also, you can easily acquire their trust and respect.

For existing employees, behaving ideally on the job can help maintain harmony in the workplace. You can also serve as a role model for new employees. Your actions while working can send a signal to newly hired about the culture of the company they are into.

You probably have read tons of articles about how to become or act professionally in the workplace.

By now you are familiar with the usual tips such as arriving to work on time, dressing appropriately, going the extra mile, be respectful, become a team-player, trustworthiness, and keeping your integrity.

So instead of giving additional information relating to maintaining professionalism, I will just share here things that you should avoid doing in the workplace. Come to think of it, these can help you maintain professionalism too, right?

Top 10 Things to Avoid Doing in the Workplace

There are probably more than 10 bad behaviors that you should not do in the workplace, but for now, let us focus on this list.

For sure, if you prohibit yourself from doing what is included here, you are already on your way to becoming more professional.

1. Absenteeism / Tardiness

  • Be at work whenever you possibly can.
  • Arrive at work a few minutes before the time you are scheduled to begin working. Aside from the fact that tardiness can put a dent in your monthly salary, it can also damage your reputation. Especially, if you are newly hired and is on 6 months probation.
  • Absenteeism can signify that you are not dedicated to your work or you are searching for a new job. Your superior might think that you are attending a job fair while you are absent hahaha.

2. Criticism

  • If you receive criticism, do not take it personally, blame anyone else, make excuses, or be defensive.
  • As difficult as it may be, thank the person who provided helpful criticism, even if you are feeling defensive about it. Because it is an opportunity for you to grow in terms of improving your work ethic.
  • The same thing when it’s your time to criticize your workmates. Do not focus on their personality, instead, it should be about their wrong behavior in the office.

3. Messiness

  • Keep yourself personally neat: hair combed, shirt tucked in, shoes polished and clothes pressed.
  • This is not only about how you dress, you should also be organized with your workspace.
  • Messiness sends a bad signal to your colleagues as a lack of caring for yourself and your job.
  • If will also affect your productivity, imagine your office table is filled with scattered papers. It is like searching for a needle in the haystack kind of thing.

4. Obscene Language

  • Avoid obscene language or behavior, it will make your fellow workers uncomfortable especially if they are not used to hearing foul language in and outside the office.
  • Obscenity will do nothing to advance your career. It will also make you look unprofessional.
  • Depending on your company policy, you can be charged for misconduct because of using inappropriate words deliberately.

5. Personal Calls

  • Limit private phone calls to only the most urgent. Also, if you are going to receive personal calls during office hours, you should go to a private place. This is to avoid disturbing your workmates while they are busy dealing with office-related concerns.
  • Or if you are into sending SMS, it is better to keep your phone in silent mode. I am pretty sure, most of your workmates do not want to hear SMS sound continuously while they are working.

6. Personal Problems

  • This may be very difficult to do, but you need to keep personal problems at home. Even when your co-workers are your friends, keep discussion of personal matters out of the office. You can share them outside without alerting the entire staff.
  • Sharing your personal problems with fellow employees can affect their emotions which in turn can affect their productivity.

7. Privacy

  • Respect other’s privacy by not eavesdropping on their conversations or reading things on their desks. There is information that you are not supposed to know such as your workmate’s conversation with their loved ones or their arguments over the phone.
  • There is a reason your workmates go to a private place when they are talking to friends or relatives.

8. Reprimands

  • Never correct or reprimand someone in front of others. You should do it in private. The reason is reprimanding subordinates in front of co-workers can ruin their self-esteem.
  • Reprimanding a workmate who has done wrong is necessary to prevent the same mistake or wrongdoing from happening again. However, when doing so, it should be timely and specific to wrong deeds.

9. Temper

  • Do not lose yours. Walk away, count 10, breathe deeply, and do not give in to temper. If you do, apologize immediately.
  • If someone else does, in front of you, excuse yourself and go elsewhere to avoid unnecessary confrontation.
  • When you are angry you should choose your words wisely or best is to keep your mouth close. As the saying goes, words spoken out of anger cannot be taken back.

10. Wasting Time

  • Be at your work and if you have nothing to do, perhaps you can offer help to your workmates. In this way, you can establish a good relationship with that particular person.
  • If permitted by your company, you can also read self-help books for self-improvement.
  • Phone conversations are not the only way to waste time. Wandering around, and talking to fellow workers about humor are equally popular.

“Job satisfaction is a function not only of how much a person receives from the job situation but also of where he stands with respect to his level of aspiration.”

*Source: Got from a seminar

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