These Bad Work Habits Might Be Damaging Your Career Prospects

You know that colleague at work who just really gets under your skin? We’ve all got one, whether you can pinpoint the reason or not. If you catch yourself copping passive aggressive glances, you (or maybe your work habits) just might be part of the problem.

Having bad work habits not only irritates the hell out of those around you, but might even lead to you getting the sack or damage your future career prospects. Remember you’re at work, act professionally, and don’t behave as though you’re at home. Here are some of the most common bad work habits you should stop, for the love of all of us.

Being late

According to a recent report from online HR and employee management system Deputy, 40% of Australians are routinely rocking up to work late. The report analysed over 400,000 shifts, and found that while the majority of tardy employees blamed the likes of public transport or traffic, 18% simply just couldn’t get out of bed on time.

Unless there’s an emergency or some external factor preventing you from getting to work on time, there isn’t really any excuse – if you’re not early, you’re not on time. It’s not a good look, and if you’re late frequently enough, it’s a totally justifiable reason to be fired.

Set your alarm a little earlier and get to work on time.


If you reckon your best work comes when you’re put under pressure at the last possible moment, congrats – but whether you realise or not, it might be affecting your co-workers.

If your slacking results in a big last-minute rush where everyone around you needs to work quicker than usual, chances are your colleagues will be pissed about it.

Bad grammar and poor email communication

U may think typing lyk ur on msn is an easy n cool way 2 communicate, but chances are you’re just going to come off as incompetent, so save it for the chat room.

The same goes for e-mail communication in general. If you’re working a job where you’re emailing clients all day, it’s important you put forward your best self and come across how you intend in online. Try not to be perceived as rude and abrupt or, on the flip side, too wordy or long winded.

It’s also important you regularly check and respond to your e-mails to make sure you don’t miss any important meetings or deadlines or come off as unprofessional.

Poor body language

Are you an expressive person who can’t really hide their emotions? If that’s the case it might be something worth working on – it’s better to smile and nod along in a meeting with your boss rather than shooting them an eye roll so extreme it might’ve impaired your vision.

Or it could be as simple as not holding eye contact when having a conversation with someone. Colleagues, bosses or even clients perceive these non-verbal communication habits are rude or unprofessional – a major career killer.


Everyone loves to spill the tea from time to time, but be careful who you decide to vent to at work, because it might come back to bite you in the butt. Just think about how you’d feel if you had a colleague who gossiped about you all the time.

There isn’t exactly a correct way to bitch about your colleagues, but if you do need to unload about someone, it’s a good idea to do it far away from the office and to a friend that isn’t directly involved.

Just remember, don’t say something behind someone’s back that you’re not willing to say to their face – play nice. If a manager finds out how you truly feel about them, you might just find yourself without a job.

Poor Hygiene

Colleagues work at close quarters for long days, and nobody wants to sit next to someone who is stinky, untidy or unlcean. It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have with a colleague, so check yourself (your pits) before you wreck yourself (leave the house) and try to keep a clean and tidy workspace.

Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.