9 Bad Office Habits You Should Break Now if You Want to Progress Faster

When I consider setting goals for myself, I most often than not, forget to examine my work life: What changes can I make to become a more productive and a pleasant employee and colleague? You might be reading this and thinking about that annoying traits of your fellow co-worker, but the truth is, you are probably guilty of some bad habits, too. So today, I’ll be sharing some bad work habits I’ve observed over time that potentially stops people from advancing faster towards their career goals and how to break them.

Spending the Day replying emails, texts and ‘pings’

Responding to every text, ping and even email as soon as it comes in might make you think and even seem responsive, but truthfully, it is not productive. The thing about doing that is that it distracts you from concentrating on important tasks at hand. The solution is my 50-10 rule; in every hour, concentrate on the work at hand for 50 minutes, then use the 10 minutes to reply mails, stretch and have small talk with colleagues.

This adds spice and variety to your work without making you a modern day slave to your mobile devices. One way to ensure you do this well is to place all your mobile devices on the silent mode during work hours. This way you minimise the temptation to grab your phone at the sound of every ping or message.


This probably is the biggest drawback that many talented people have.

Almost everyone does it at one point or the other, but procrastinating is a habit that will hurt both you and your co-workers. Learn to act as soon as an assignment or project has been handed to you. I am not saying that you should jump head first in without first researching and consulting but at least set the ball rolling. Be proactive especially on assignments that impact others, you’ll be less stressed and you’ll achieve more.

Misusing Work-from-Home Privileges

Truthfully, you save a whole lot of time when you work from home by avoiding traffic, most especially in this part of the globe where a clear road is often treated with caution and sometimes fear. But too many people are easily distracted by house chores, friends and oh, the temptation of lying down on that comfy bed for just a ‘lil’ bit.

Some people get so much more done working from home, but like I said, ‘some’ not all. If you work from home, make sure you’re putting in a full day’s work and that you’re accessible to your colleagues during the workday. If you know you’ll be sidetracked, look for a place other than your house to work from.

Are You Always Unprepared

Another bad habit that would make you seem unreliable is showing up unprepared. Always come to the team meeting prepared. If a new project is about to be initiated, read up on it, do a little research. Be versatile in your office. Some people never come to a meeting with their own pen or writing pad. This also includes doing background checks before going for an interview.

Putting Personal Life Before Work

Life is full of surprises, so it is a sure bet that everyone has emergencies from time to time. But it is rather annoying to have to fill in for that colleague who is always late every morning because he had one earth shattering situation- it’s a wonder he is still alive in spite of how his earth shatters every morning and all.

Poor Health and Hygiene

An unhealthy staff will not only cause complication and challenges for him or herself, but also for colleagues and the company at large. Also, a sloppy appearance will cause a poor first impression. I believe that “if your hygiene is bad, your health is probably bad too.”

The solution is simple; Eat well, go for regular checkups, maintain personal hygiene and above all, exercise as often as possible. Keeping fit and healthy is a sure way to give yourself a chance at doing your work better and advancing towards your career goals.

Using Inappropriate Humour

Humour is a good and effective tool in fostering great working relationship in the work place but please, please and please, know where and when to draw the line. A lot of amiable, jovial workers do not just know where and when to stop.

Also, if you know that you don’t exactly have a great sense of humour, please use it sparingly or better still don’t use it. Your co-workers may not appreciate it. And be careful about sensitive subjects such as politics and religion as a misunderstanding in any of those two topics can start a war; well, maybe not a war but a heated misunderstanding. And that can affect your growth at the organisation.

Noise Making

In my world, there is nothing worse than sitting close to someone who is loud and obtrusive. Pen tapping, foot kicking, intrusive and unnecessary conversation are some habits that are frowned on in the work place. Try to be more aware of the noises you crate throughout your day and you will be able to avoid annoying your co-workers and even possibly your supervisors or bosses.

Not Caring About Your Work

Organizations like workers who are enthusiastic about what they do. I know, I know this might sound cliché in this part of the world but I think it’s only fair that even if you don’t like your job, show pride in it, put in an extra effort because whether you like it or not, it is paying your bills and the funny thing is that you will be surprised how much love and passion you can grow for that particular discipline when you put your heart to it.

You have any other habits you think people should improve on at your workplace? Please share in the comments.

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About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.


  1. Abdulmutalebi Aliyu says:

    Awesome read. Thanks for this great reminder. Spot-ON

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