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10 Things You Should Stop Doing at Work (Even if You Think Nobody Has Noticed)

For those of us lucky enough to have a great office atmosphere to head back to every week, the transition from weekend to worker may not be so crushing.

In fact, so laid back is the environment that some days, between catching up with the marketing department’s stories about their weekend, grabbing your coffee fix with work wife, and sending a few funny emails to colleagues, you don’t even really start your job until after 10:00am.

Be warned though – you may think that life around here is laid-back and that your boss and senior management are a pretty chill crew, but your laissez-faire attitude to working hasn’t gone unnoticed.

If you want to be respected in your career, cut these habits out of your daily work routine now. And make sure that everyone’s just as happy to see you on a Monday morning as you are to see them.

Checking Your Phone
Everyone is guilty of this one and it’s almost impossible to cut out completely. But checking your phone every five minutes and texting someone every half hour hasn’t gone undetected. If you can’t stop yourself from looking, put your cell in your bag or put it on flight mode for an hour and power down for some serious work. By which time you might actually have some messages to read.

Wearing Headphones
Unless it’s been formally sanctioned and is in keeping with the company culture, you should probably cut this habit out now. Listening to music may help you to work, but it could distance you from office life and make you seem unapproachable. If you really find it easier to concentrate with them on, have a conversation with your boss – don’t just stick them on and hope for the best.

Sure, they’re your pals and it’s all in good fun, but sharing your deepest darkest secrets over a beer or six at the pub after work may not be the best idea. Controversial topics may offend others, or something you meant in jest may be taken completely out of context. Words may travel quickly but people will remember them for a very long time.

Chatting to Friends at Their Desk
It may not be your department right now, but heading over to a friend’s desk to disturb her work and annoy her colleagues pretty much ruins any future hopes you may have of moving over in the future. Appearing uninvited for a ‘quick’ deskside chat gets old quickly and you have to remember that those in earshot could be a potential manager one day.

Private Messaging
As we know from the recent European court ruling, companies can now monitor their online private messages through Facebook and Whatsapp. Which means it might not be too long before Canada sees the same kind of game-changing ruling. So don’t get caught contacting friends and family during your working day. Even worse is sharing personal, non-work related info via instant messenger or email which will be easier to trace if someone is looking for incriminating evidence of your ‘easy-going’ attitude at work.

Online Shopping
Even if you’re the fastest draw in the (capitalist) west, you’re still not going to be able to minimise that browser in time if your boss appears at your desk unexpectedly. If you forgot to pay rent or need to book train tickets, make a to-do-list so you don’t forget and handle it on your lunch break. And if you’re just cruising the web because you’re bored, maybe it’s time to rethink your career.

Going for Coffee 3 Times a Day
Just as not taking a break can be detrimental to your work health, so can taking too many. It’s one thing to take a breather, but being continually elusive will really grate on your busy colleagues. Take one long break rather than lots of little ones  so you can properly recharge but remain contactable throughout the day.

Leaving at 5 pm on the Dot – Every. Single. Day.
We’re not suggesting you stay late if you don’t need to, but dropping your work like it’s hot just because it’s 5 o’clock is never cool. You should always do a cursory check to see if your colleagues or boss needs anything done before you head out – and try not to look too put out if they actually take you up on the offer.

Talking Smack About Your Co-Workers
Yes, Susan is dangerously lazy and everybody knows it. But that does not mean it’s OK to bitch about her publicly in the office. If everyone is aware of a problematic colleague things will catch up with them sooner or later, and you hardly need draw any more attention to them. Any association will likely drag public opinion of you down to a similar level, so just keep doing a good job to differentiate yourself. In other words, let your work – and other people’s – talk for itself.

Allowing Your Mood to Affect Your Work
We all have a home life and it’s not always easy to juggle them with a full time job. But that’s no excuse to bring your baggage into the office. Greeting requests to participate in work with dramatic eye-rolls and sighs is gruelling for colleagues and can instantly diminish team morale. If the issue is serious, talk to your manager or take the day off if you truly can’t function – but don’t just be a grump because your dishwasher broke this morning.

Notable Life

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