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5 Bad Work Habits to Break Up With

By Jessica Thiem:

Habit: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Both good and bad, we all have them. Bad habits can cause a disruption in your life, keep you from accomplishing goals and possibly even jeopardize your job. A bad habit can lead to isolation in the office, which can affect everything from your performance evaluation to your ability to do your job. Some habits you might not even be aware you have. Here are 5 bad work habits to break up with today…

1. Procrastinating

Procrastinating is a trap that many people fall into. According to research, 20% of people are chronic procrastinators. This bad work habit can hinder you, and your co-workers, from learning and doing your job. Missing deadlines will only cause your team stress by taking on a bigger workload and working overtime to make up for the loss of yours.

A few reasons people procrastinate:

  • Perfectionism
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Filling your day with low priority tasks
  • Lack of motivation
  • Unclear how to complete the assignment/work

Procrastinating IS possible to overcome if you recognize what is making you put off assignments and work until the last minute, understand why you aren’t meeting deadlines and acknowledge the fact that breaking this bad habit comes with time.

From the slightly annoying to the career ruining, #BadHabits need to go. Check out the habits @Jessica_RBM wants you to break up with to improve #productivity: Click To Tweet

2. Abusing Work From Home Privileges

According to a 2017 Gallup survey of more than 15,000 working adults, 43% of respondents said they spent at least some time in 2016 working remotely. Not only are more people working from home, but they’re also doing so more often: 31% worked from home four to five days per week, up from 24% in 2012.

Working from home is a privilege, not a right. Once you earn this privilege, it’s important not to use and abuse it. While some jump on this opportunity, some might not prefer WFH or have the willpower to and prefer to work 5 days a week in the office. Like with everything, there are pros and cons.

Advantages of working from home:

  • You are working independently
  • You can get more work done
  • It saves drive time
  • You can sit where you want (Desk, couch, bed….you name it!)
  • You can wear what you want
  • Fewer distractions from co-workers

With it being a privilege, it’s important not to take advantage of it. Some people simply cannot work from home as it poses too many issues with not having the willpower to get things done.

Disadvantages of working from home:

  • Loss of immediate and direct communication
  • More outside distractions (Spouse, children, roommate, neighbors, TV, etc.)
  • Chance of getting sidetracked
  • Unreliable internet access
  • You can feel out of the loop

It’s important to make sure you’re readily available to your co-workers during the day and that you’re getting your job done. If you enter your work from home situation with the right mindset, it’ll make working at home easier, give you the self-control to do so and enjoy the benefits that go along with it.

3. Running Late

According to a national survey, nearly 30% of people arrive late for work each day. Having the bad work habit of running late, or even returning late from breaks, can give off the impression that you don’t care and that something else might be more important. Your boss and co-workers want to know that they can trust and count on you to get things done and being on time is one simple way to prove you can. Constantly rushing not only causes you to stress, but it can also make your co-workers feel uncomfortable and anxious at times.

Don’t want to run the risk of undermining your professional reputation? Be on time. It’s as simple as that!

4. Being Unprepared

Whether it be with a client or your team, showing up to a meeting unprepared will make you look careless and unorganized. Without taking some time in advance to prepare for a meeting will slow down the process and cause irritation with everyone that’s present. It is your responsibility to have your agenda, notes or whatever it is that you need to contribute, at hand and ready to present to avoid scrambling at the last minute.

If you are in charge of the meeting, make sure you schedule it with a start and end time. Send an agenda to whoever will be attending the meeting with the topics that will be discussed during that time. Any extra items that are brought up in the meeting, make note of them and discuss them at the end if time allows. Sticking to an agenda will ensure the meeting doesn’t go off track and time is wasted.

5. Taking Advantage of Company Time

Using your time while at work to do things that do not relate to work can make you come off as unprofessional and possibly even go against your company’s policy. Texting or using your cell phone at work is a common way employees are taking advantage of company time. In a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, cell phone usage and texting was cited as the number one productivity killer at work, with 55% of employers agreeing that it hurts productivity.

#BadHabits, we’re all guilty of them. Check out these 5 heartbreaking work habits from @RedBranch to get rid of today! Click To Tweet

Whether you spend an hour or half the day on your cell phone at work, it’s important to be careful about how much you use it because it can reflect badly on you.

“Like anything in life… be aware of your surroundings, be aware of the situation, and don’t let distractions like your phone or texting get in the way [of your work product].”

– Susan Ginsberg O’Sullivan, career coach

There are probably a few bad work habits listed here that you’re guilty of at work. It’s crucial to realize the impact they can have on you, your job and the people you work with. Make it a priority to be more aware of your habits, keeping the good ones and breaking up with the bad ones.

What other habits do you need to break up with? Tweet us @RedBranch and let us know!