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Five Bad Habits To Ditch in the Modern Workplace

You use up the printer ink without replacing it, you wait until someone else makes coffee before you get up to get some, and you refuse to use a sale on flats to save your company money on work shoes.

If you’re making the adjustment to a modern workplace, you may be asked to adjust some of your habits. The times are changing, and some of the things that might have passed a dozen years ago will either get you fired or produce a bad reputation today. Whether you’re old or young, you should shoot to be liked in the workplace. If you can’t achieve that, then it pays to at least be tolerable. Here are five bad habits to lose if you want to succeed in the modern workplace. 

Racist, sexist, or ableist jokes

If jokes about vulnerable groups were ever funny or tolerable in the past, they certainly are not now. There’s no better way to get fired or end up as a viral internet sensation for the wrong reasons than to let loose a flurry of bad jokes. Take these things out of your lexicon if you want to succeed in a modern, progressive workplace. 

Addiction to social media

You might think that because Facebook has a billion users, you can go wild on social media sites while at the workplace. In truth, employers today are more interested in people who can stay away from those temptations. Studies indicate the serious productivity loss suffered by employers because of social media sites. Just because these modern tools exist does not mean you can surf Instagram on your employer’s time. And it should go without saying, but you definitely shouldn’t call in sick because there was a steam sale and you want to stay home and play your new games.

Playing the “lone wolf”

Some employees are more comfortable working on their own. That’s understandable, but it might make you a pariah in your modern workplace. Today’s employers expect their workers to play nice in teams. If you want to play the lone wolf, you might find yourself facing claims that you don’t fit into the culture of your workplace. Even if you prefer to work alone, try to pay lip service to the team-driven atmosphere your boss is trying to create. 

Overdressing for the occasion

Some employees who are used to an old school workplace might try to dress up their existing job. This is a recipe for failure. Some modern employers mean it when they tell their employees to dress casually. Don’t just assume that you can roll into work in a suit and tie when your employer likes golf course casual. The dress code of a workplace is a major building block to that place’s culture. Try to fit in the best you can. While you might be trying to dress to impress, you may have the opposite effect at the end of the day. 

Responding through the wrong medium

If someone sends a question through email, it’s best to respond through email. Don’t assume that you need to place a phone call or make a visit to their office to discuss. In many cases, the person sending the email did so because he or she wanted a record of the conversation. In other instances, they may have wanted to avoid a confrontation. Respond in like kind so that you don’t step on any toes or break any boundaries. 

Going to work in a modern place of employment is a challenge for those who are used to more traditional workplaces. Don’t just assume that your employer will bend to your will. If you want to remain relevant today, you should knock off those bad habits that may be keeping you from advancing up the corporate ladder.