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10 Habits that make you look unprofessional at work

By Courtney Jones

Old habits die hard—sometimes with a vengeance. We can all at some point in our lives become creatures of habit, and it’s hard to change the behaviors we’ve become accustomed to. But like mom always said, “There’s a time and place,” and certain habits just have no business being in a business atmosphere.

These are some of them:
1. Using filler words
Like, you know, ummm whatever. Being inarticulate can be like such an obvious, like, thing that super shouldn’t like happen in the office and stuff. Because, like, you know, it’s hard to get your point across when you’re like, not being clear. (Enough said.)

2. Being late
If you’re late to dinner with friends, hey, they can order the apps; if you’re running late for a soccer practice, stuff happens, but if you’re perpetually late to work or meetings, it’s simply rude and unprofessional to those who were on time and prepared. Being on time shows that you’re professional enough to care.

3. Upspeaking
Upspeaking happens when you end all your sentences in an upward tone, like you’re asking a question. More often than not, people aren’t even aware that they’re guilty of the offence, but unless you’re working on the set of Clueless 2.0 and Alicia Silverstone is your co-worker, don’t bring the upspeak to the office.

4. Lazy profanity
Sometimes certain four letter words can act as nouns, adjectives or verbs; in either case however, if used in an all-purpose capacity, it may leave some to wonder if you’re equally uncreative in using words as you are in everything else you do. Also, swearing in the workplace shouldn’t happen anyway.

5. Over-emoting
We’re all human and life tends to happen, but being overly emotional at the office isn’t going to earn you any promotions. Crying, screaming, stomping and general overall hysterics should be left at home.

6. Complaining or being too cool to care
They’re on different sides of the spectrum, but both still earn the same response. Everyone has a job to do, and no one is going to be happy all the time. Vocalizing your displeasure in the most minimal of capacities is palatable with the right audience, but complaining about work at work isn’t wise. On the opposite end, acting like you don’t care about your job or company shows disrespect for coworkers and employers who do care about their position and performance; it’s a casual fatality.

7. Email emojis
Almost as bad as bad grammar and punctuation is the overzealous use of the email emoji. A professional email sent to clients or management shouldn’t contain smiley faces.

8. Flirting

Yes, we’re human, and our brains are predisposed to notice those we find attractive. Complimenting a colleague on a new hair style or shirt is fine, but excessive flirting, especially with the aim of career advancement, isn’t appropriate. Boundaries in the office are a good thing.

9. Being the class clown
Humour in life is important, and laughter is good, but being that person who can’t communicate without joking all the time isn’t a professional look. A good joke every now and then can be conducive to productivity, but being the class clown doesn’t belong in the workplace.

10. Being too plugged in
Put your phone down. That is all.

Whether you’re in a corporate boardroom or a casual environment, the workplace is where we work. Corporate culture will vary from business to business, but an overall sense of unprofessionalism in the workplace is always noticed.


by Courtney Jones

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