Your office is a professional work environment. You can’t treat it like your home, a locker room, or the local tavern. But all of us have bad office habits – some of us are just worse at noticing them. Here are the worst offenders to watch out for. Or it may take a Groundhog Day Miracle to save your job.
When companies’ futures are in flux and careers are on the line, rumors spread. When employees are bored, those rumors become gossip. Idle chitchat about others, not always based in fact. Co-workers want to let off steam by going out after work, but make sure to keep the rumors to a minimum. Or avoid talking about work altogether. It’s easier to keep a healthy work-life balance when you’re not using your colleagues’’ antics for entertainment value.
Social media may be a part of your job. Especially if you work in a marketing department or at a large company with mandatory Twitter accounts. It’s easy to lose focus. You may be tempted to browse Facebook or surf Bored Panda. If you need a distraction, you don’t necessarily need to surf the web. Try standing up and walking around. Patrol the hallways for coworkers to say hi to. Go for a stroll around the building. Refill your water bottle. Take an early lunch and hit the gym. Studies show that physical fitness helps boost work performance. Don’t get distracted by pointless garbage – instead choose to take a break and do something healthy.
Like we said, everybody’s got to let off a little steam every once in a while. But venting steam shouldn’t burn anyone else. Complaints can turn into off-color comments and mean-spirited shenanigans. If you’re on the receiving end of improper workplace or corporate behavior, tell an HR rep. But if you’ve just had a bad day, try not to let it escalate. Complaining doesn’t fix the problem, but turning complaints into measured, level-headed constructive criticism can. Try talking it over with the source after you’ve had time to calm down. Find a solution you both like. What the heck – bring in a mediator!
Bad Body Language
If you are meeting with a client or working on a project, communication must remain clear throughout. Too often, unclear communication is the culprit for lost deals or scope creep. However, the problem may not be completely verbal. A limp handshake or poor eye contact can turn off a potential customer. Clients can become agitated by what you don’t say during an update call. Turning your back on someone while they’re speaking or folding your arms can make them think you’re being defensive or uninterested in their report. Try to show your coworkers and clients respect. Sit up straight. Remain alert. Be conscious of your body language and how it affects your performance.
Holding Up the Production Line
All of these bad habits can hold up the production line and affect your organization’s bottom line. Gossip can create a toxic work environment, increasing the turnover rate and escalating recruiting and HR costs. Distractions can lower your personal output, slowing down projects and tasks. Complaints without any mediation or resolution can lead to depressive tendencies and lower morale. This has an overall negative effect on the workplace and can cause suffering performance and mass resignations. Bad body language can lead to redundant work, lose the company business, and cause sales numbers to plummet. In general, try to keep your spirits up at the office. Promptly report any bad behavior to HR. Maintain a good work life balance and a healthy lifestyle. Or you may find yourself stuck reliving February 2nd over and over and over…until you start being nicer to your colleagues.