HR Experts Say Never Do These 18 Things at Work

Work can be very complicated, and to protect yourself, you need to stick to a certain code of conduct. By behaving a certain way, you can stay on your employer’s good side and enjoy a non-problematic career. In this article, we look at 18 things that you should completely avoid while you’re at work.

Misuse Social Media

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Inappropriate social media use can negatively affect your career and the company’s reputation. If you’re not sure about what to do, ask what the social media policy is at your workplace. Law firm Barcan + Kirby says it’s generally recommended to avoid speaking negatively about your work on your social media, as you could breach your contract.

Ignore Harassment

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Harassment of any kind creates a toxic work environment and should always be reported. Harassment doesn’t have to be physical; it can also be verbal or visual. If you see anything that seems suspicious, speak to your superior to protect the person who is a victim of the bad behavior.

Spread Gossip

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Spreading gossip can undermine trust and damage professional relationships. Everyone’s at work to get things done, not to get involved in personal drama. Gossiping not only harms other people but can also harm your reputation, as your coworkers will stop trusting you. When you see people engage in gossip, excuse yourself politely and avoid the conversation.

Use Work Devices for Personal Use Excessively

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Excessive personal use of work devices can lead to security risks and decreased productivity. To be safe, put your phone away during work hours and only use it on your breaks or when you’re finished with your work. Your device at work might also pose a security risk, depending on the kind of work you do.

Disregard Email Etiquette

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There’s a lot that goes into having good email etiquette. Some of the habits HubSpot recommends include keeping your tone professional, avoiding vague subject lines, using proper email punctuation and good grammar, and choosing a professional email salutation. Always remember that emails last forever, so whatever you say is on record for eternity.

Refuse to Collaborate

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Unless you’ve just founded your company, there’s always a need for collaboration in the workplace. Most roles aren’t independent and therefore depend on each other to succeed. If you’re struggling with collaboration, it might help to reach out to others and ask them where they need help.

Take Credit for Others’ Work

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Taking credit for someone else’s work isn’t right. It can make you look dishonest and hurt your team. When you claim others’ hard work as your own, it can make your teammates feel unappreciated and upset. Instead, you should always make sure to say who did the work. This keeps the team happy and shows you are fair.

Ignore Health and Safety Protocols

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Disregarding health and safety rules at work is very risky. Every workplace has important safety rules, like wearing helmets or following procedures. If you don’t follow these rules, you and your coworkers can get hurt. It’s good to always follow the safety rules and help others do the same to keep everyone safe at work.

Show Up Late or Unprepared

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Being late for work often can make people think you don’t care. It can make your work worse and upset your coworkers who are on time. Being on time and ready shows you respect others and take your job seriously. Setting up a daily plan and preparing the night before can help you be on time and ready.

Engage in Office Politics

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Getting involved in office politics can distract from your main objectives and create conflicts. Business News Daily says, “An example of positive political behavior is identifying and aligning yourself with key influencers with the goal of leveraging their influence for career development without compromising your values or that of the organization.”

Dress Inappropriately

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Different jobs have different dress codes. For example, some places might need you to wear a suit, while others are okay with something more casual. Wearing the wrong clothes to work can give others a bad impression. Understanding and following your workplace’s dress code is important because it shows you’re professional and respectful.

Bring Personal Problems to Work

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Everyone has tough days, but letting these problems affect your work can lower your quality of work. Finding ways to handle your stress, like talking to a friend or a counselor, can help. This way, you can keep your personal issues from impacting your job.

Participate in Workplace Bullying

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Being part of bullying at work is very harmful. Bullying is when someone is repeatedly mean or hurtful to another person. This can make the workplace scary and unfriendly to others. If you see bullying, it’s important to speak up or help the person being bullied.

Resist Change

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Change is often good because it brings new ideas and improvements. If you resist new ways of doing things, it can hold you and everyone else back. Learning to accept and support changes can help you and your workplace succeed. Change is a part of life and fighting it will only result in disappointment.

Make Inappropriate Jokes

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There is a time and place for making bad or dark jokes. Such jokes can alienate colleagues and lead to disciplinary actions. Avoid sensitive issues that might make others feel bad; making others laugh definitely isn’t worth losing your job.

Violate Privacy and Confidentiality

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Privacy and confidentiality are of great importance when running a business. It’s therefore your responsibility to ensure that you protect the data of the customers from any potential security breaches. The Law Society of Scotland says that failing to do this can result in major legal implications for yourself and for the company at large.

Use Aggressive or Offensive Language

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There’s a certain way to speak to people at work. It must be respectful, professional, and not offensive. Of course, mistakes can be made, but you should always do your best to keep things clean. Avoid aggressiveness, as it will rub people the wrong way even when you’re in the right.

Ignore Feedback

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Ignoring feedback can stall your professional development and lead to missed opportunities. Don’t take things personally, and try your best to seek criticism from people who know more than you. Constructive criticism isn’t there to bring you down, but to help you grow in your profession.