Showing up late to work
"Punctuality is critical," says Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and author of "Don't Burp in the Boardroom."
"The professional thing to do is to arrive on time, ready to do what is expected, " she says.
Similarly, arriving late to meetings shows that you neither respect your coworkers — who showed up on time, by the way — nor the meeting organizer.
Keeping people waiting can be construed as inconsiderate, rude, or arrogant.
Eating particularly smelly food at your desk
Experts say you should never eat lunch at your desk because it's unhealthy and makes you less productive.
But eating lunch at your desk doesn't just affect you — foods that are messy, crumby, smelly, or noisy can have a serious impact on your coworkers' productivity.
This is especially true for pungent foods, which can be hard to ignore.
Smelly foods like the following should stay out of the office:
Reheated fish 重新加热的鱼
Hard boiled eggs 煮鸡蛋
Brussels sprouts 球芽甘蓝
Raw onions 生洋葱
Pungent spices 辛辣的调味料
Tuna salad 金枪鱼沙拉
Stinky cheese 臭奶酪
"It's rude to interrupt. When you do, it shows others that you don't have any respect, judgment, or patience," Randall says.
While participation can earn you some brownie points, bad timing can wipe those points away.
Making personal calls all day long
Talking or texting with friends or family on company time is unprofessional and could be against company policy, Randall says. What's more, doing it during a break is fine, but these correspondences should be kept out of the workplace, even the lunch room.
"You never know when your boss may walk by for an impromptu chat," she says. "What will they see or hear?"
"If the topic of conversation is of a delicate nature, be sure to keep it private. One overheard juicy tidbit can spread like wildfire," Randall says.
Avoiding work social events
Whether you're shy or you feel like you have better things to do, never attending company-hosted events, declining coworker lunches, and calling in sick on team building days gives the impression that you are antisocial, arrogant, and not a part of the team, Randall says.
Being too noisy
Whether you play music loudly while others are trying to work or have conversations the entire office can hear, then your coworkers likely consider you one of the most annoying distractions on earth.
Being noisy, especially in an open office, has a significant effect on your coworkers' focus and productivity, and the noise could hurt business if it carries into an important phone call.
Grooming yourself at your desk
In most fields, casual grooming in public is frowned on. If you need a touch up, we suggest heading to the bathroom.
There is a line between curiosity and nosiness, which you don't want to cross. Curiosity is when you ask who the new hire is. Nosiness, on the other hand, is when you rifle through your boss's files to see how much the woman three cubicles down earns.
Being negative all the time
Repeatedly responding to suggestions with a pessimistic or contrary attitude can be construed as being uncooperative, Randall says. Phrases like "That won't work," "That sounds too hard," or, "I wouldn't know how to start," should be avoided.
Similarly, complaining too much puts you in a bad light.
"While there may be times when everyone feels the desire to complain about the boss, a coworker, or a task, voicing it will only make you look unprofessional," Randall says.
"It's even worse if you complain every day, all day, from the moment you walk into work. Before long, people will go out of their way to avoid you."
She points to a recent CareerBuilder survey, which shows that a majority of employers — 62% — say they are less likely to promote employees who have a negative or pessimistic attitude.
Don't be the one who edges into other people's personal space, Randall warns.
"You know the ones — they place their coffee mug just so, a comfortable reaching distance, making room for their notebook, elbows, and of course their cell phone and protein bar," she says. "As the person seated next to them, you're left with only enough room for a water bottle."
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