14 Things You Should Never Do At Work
Sometimes we forget that our colleagues and bosses are closely observing the way we behave at work. The little things that we do (and don’t do) at the workplace go a long way to form an impression and affect the growth of our career.
Here are some guidelines for what not to do—the clear DON’Ts– when you’re at work:
1. Take angry or dramatic phone calls
No matter how “normal” we think our lives are, we all have our fair share of loud, dramatic and angry phone calls. It could be an argument with your parents, or a fight with your significant other. We know how unpleasant these phone calls can sometimes get. It is best to avoid taking such calls at work. Wait to sort things out until you get home. But if it absolutely can’t wait, then make sure to step out so that your colleagues and bosses can’t hear you.
2. Send emails you wouldn’t want your boss to see
If you’re applying for another job (and don’t want your boss to know), or if you’re saying things about the company (that you wouldn’t want your boss to hear), then save the emailing for later. You never really know who has access to your personal email—someone reading the email from over your shoulder, or just someone with access to all things done on the company WiFi!
3. Spend hours on social media
Spending hours on Facebook (or doing other personal things) while at work creates a bad impression and goes to show that you’re not serious about your work. It is okay to reserve a little bit of social media activity for when you take a break. Anything more than that should be restricted to your phone, or for after work. Unless, of course, social media activity is a part of your job.
4. Gossip about your boss or co-workers
In the office environment, you never know who gives whom what information. It’s best not to burn bridges and to maintain a cordial equation with your co-workers. If you lose their trust, you’ll probably never be able to win it back.
5. Come into work when you’re very sick
You may think that this will reflect your commitment to your job, but it’s best to stay at home when you’re sick. Exposing a healthy office to your germs is never appreciated.
6. Hit on your boss, colleague or subordinate
Getting romantically involved with your boss, co-workers or subordinates can lead to complications at work. Not only can it affect your concentration and output, but it can also have legal implications. It is best to keep your romantic involvements outside of office.
7. Dress and speak too casually
Work environments are no longer as stiff and formal as they used to be. Casual clothing and informal conversations are the order of the day. However, don’t get too carried away by wearing clothes that you would otherwise only wear at home, or use abusive language. What you wear and how you speak are strong determinants of how you are perceived at work.
8. Come in drunk or with a hangover
Alcohol and work make for a lethal combination. Don’t mix the two! If you find that you’re not able to control your drinking and happen to arrive at work drunk, then you may have a substance-abuse problem and you should consider getting help for it.
Related: 10 Worst Career Mistakes to Avoid
9. Play loud music at work
If you must listen to music at work, use your headphones. Subjecting others to the music of your choice is not only distracting for others, but it can severely disrupt their work and cramp their need for privacy and space.
10. Wear too much perfume
Make sure not to wear an overpowering scent to your workplace. It can be simply annoying for some and could possibly induce allergies in others. Using a mild and relatively neutral fragrance that doesn’t scent up the whole office is acceptable.
11. Keep your phone on loud
One of the most annoying things at your workplace can be the loud, raspy ringtone of your phone that rings only too often. Keep your phone on silent or vibrate, so that only you know when it’s ringing (and not the entire office!).
12. Borrow from the office
Remember that the company doesn’t owe you anything apart from the salary that you receive every month. It is best not to take home supplies, materials, etc. that belong to the office. If you feel that you need more than you are given, it is advisable to consult your boss on the matter.
13. Share sensitive information
Many of the things that go on in the office must stay within the office. Often, the details of your work (and other details about the company) are not to be shared with those outside the office. As a thumb rule, keep official information confidential unless you are directed to publicise it (as part of your job).
14. Assume that you’re right
Keep an open mind and be ready to listen when working with others. Sometimes you may be right, sometimes they may be right. Give your colleagues the space to express themselves rather than believing that you are (always) right. Better still, do your homework and stay informed on the matters in question.
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