10 Things You Shouldn’t Do @ Your Workplace

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do @ Your Workplace

Every worker is human, and therefore not perfect. Mistakes will happen. However, if you’re committing any of the following 10 workplace sins at work, you’re hurting productivity around you, insulting your coworkers, and possibly even holding back your career or threatening your job security. Even with a declining unemployment rate, finding new work takes time, and the grass might not be so greener on the other side of the fence. Keep reading to learn what you should never do where you work.

1) Stealing Coworker Food And Drinks

The one that should go without saying starts the top of the list as a warning shot. Workplace sins aren’t just relegated to working spaces, but also break rooms where work shouldn’t be taking place. One of the most egregious mistakes you can make is helping yourself to snacks, beverages, and even full meals that aren’t rightfully yours when no one is looking. You might tell yourself that a “Desperate time calls for desperate measures”, but if you are so bogged down in work to get a sandwich from the corner restaurant, rather beg your coworker to go grab it or just order delivery.

2) Destroying Coworker Meals

In a similar line of thought, if the food you bring from home might leak in the communal fridge, store it somehow so it won’t affect the food of others. Aluminum soda cans are punctured easier than you think, and any leftovers with liquid in them might spill out if the food gets knocked around in the fridge. Wrapping everything individually and then packaging it altogether in a hard plastic container that’s also in a bag layered with a paper towel at the bottom might seem like a lot of work, but it keeps your meal safe, easy to carry, and possibly too much work for any of your colleagues who don’t personally adhere to the top guideline of this list.

3) Waste Work Time On Personal Matters

If you’re a parent with kids or caring for a relative, then some personal phone calls are going to happen. Some personal matters can also only be tended to over the phone during bankers hours, and if you work that shift, that’s when you have to make such calls. A few checks of email and Facebook throughout the day are also usually innocent enough. However, if it’s eating up hours of each day, then you’re risking things. From snooping coworkers with chips on their shoulders to the latest in intranet tracking technology and software, there’s a good chance that your non-work related communications and Internet activity are more closely monitored than you think.

4) Anything Politics

No, not office politics. That’s going to happen anytime a staff has more than two people. Think federal, state, and municipal elections or the national parties, but don’t talk about them. Most professional environments will have conversations that aren’t focused on work-related matters now and again. Your weekend plans might be a safe topic, and sports talk is likely to happen in some circles with some friendly jibes. Politics is a big no-no though. It’s not just a highly personal matter, but politics is so polarized, high volume, and of increased intensity, that you might agitate those around you even if they’re all on the same end of the political spectrum.

5) Volunteering For Everything

If you want to get on your manager’s good side, and possibly even accelerate your career, then it’s a good idea to step up above the normal call of duty on occasion. If you’re doing it all the time though, you’re running multiple risks. You might look like you’re trying to put yourself on a pedestal above your peers, and you’re certainly possibly spreading yourself so thin that your overall performance suffers. You might even find yourself getting taken advantage of.

6) Too Many Complaints

complaining at work

Voicing your displeasure with certain work situations is going to happen from time to time. It’s useful as stress relief and sometimes proves effective at changing those situations. However, if you’re complaints are coming at a frequency that annoys those around you or even has gotten to a point where they’re tuning you out, then chances are good you’re going to complain more just to be noticed and heard. The chances of you saying something out loud that gets you in professional trouble are very high. If there’s a colleague or aspect of your workload that is getting to you, find someone to talk to about it. If that’s in the office, great, but keep in mind that you might have to look for a therapist outside the office to help you keep your cool while in it.

7) Inappropriately Dressing

The specifics for this will vary from one location to another, as every establishment has its own dress code. Many offices these days are business casual, which can be helpful towards your budget and physical comfort, but it can also open the door to poor choices. Regardless of how casual things seem like, don’t wear anything too revealing, unlaundered, or ripped. Avoid exposing your midriff, or wearing t-shirts with slogans, words, or language that might offend someone.

8) Rumor Spreading

Gossips are not popular people, because they can’t often be trusted. On a wrong day, you might wind up in the HR director’s office looking at a stern warning or even days off unpaid. If gossip is your thing or you just need to let off some steam, do it with a trusted friend, far from the office.

9) Clock In While Contagious

sick at workMany employers don’t draw clear lines between sick days and vacation, so if you wake up with the sniffles, you might feel tempted to tough it out and save those hours for beach time and sunshine months later. You also just don’t want to look weak or unreliable. While it might be fine to come in while a little under the weather, coming in with a fever, the flu, while coughing up your lungs, or going through any serious upheaval to your digestion are times that staying home is actually doing your colleagues a favor. If you have the right boss, you might just explain over the phone that you’re okay to work but currently carrying germs. They’ll likely give you a blessing to stay home and work remotely rather than watch half the office get sick three days later.

10) Clock In On The Way To Your Locker Or Desk

When you’re scheduled to start work, you should be ready to actually start work. That doesn’t mean clocking in over the wireless intranet while still in the elevator or before you hit your locker to change into a uniform. It’s not when you walk in the door, but when you’re actually ready to work. Aiming for five minutes in advance is a good idea; actually doing it consistently makes you reliable…and promotable.

Even if you’re an otherwise rock star of an employee, you can’t have the shenanigans and off-stage behavior of a rock star. Any of these 10 habits can erode coworker confidence in you and land you in hot water at work. No one is perfect, and everyone might actually habitually do one or two of things regularly, but if you’re violating multiple rules without giving a flip, you might soon find your employer not giving you hours, a paycheck, or even that recommendation you need to find a job and stuff you actually care about.

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