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We all have or annoying habits whether it’s nail biting, over friendly touching or pulling your phone out to check if you have a message every two minutes, but are there really some habits which can affect our work? Studies show that there are several unprofessional work habits you need to drop if you want to keep that professional relationship going.


Everyone wants shout from the rooftops when they make that big sale, or finish that project which has taken them months, but no-one likes a show-off. Bragging around the water cooler about your achievements is a definite turn off when it comes to earning colleagues’ respect at work. Try just telling your closest friends, or if your work is that good, people will come and congratulate you themselves and true praise will be worth a hundred times more than rubbing it in their faces.


Tardiness irks us at all whether it is in the workplace, the school run or that well-needed hair appointment which you have set aside a specific window for, yet the salon does not seem to be in line with your very short timeframe! Lateness at work is sometimes unavoidable but turning up late to work hours meetings when all you have to do is walk down the corridor, has been proven to be a real off-putting quality for employers.

Applying make up at your desk

Now we all like to look nice, but ladies, can we just slip of the the loo to touch up the lippy or eyeliner, rather than doing it at the desk? Believe it or not, this unprofessional work habit is more likely to annoy female colleagues than male.

Interest in others

Showing signs of being disinterested in colleagues or others projects is a sure fire way to rub them up the wrong way. You may not even know you’re doing it; habits like jiggling legs, fiddling with pens or gazing out of the window, are signs that you are not paying 100% attention to someone and can lead to an unnecessarily awkward work environment.

Having too many friends

Believe it or not, having too many friends can be seen as a unprofessional work habit. Being too ‘cliquey’ or singling others out is a little playground-ish and not something you want to bring to the workplace. Think more Erin Brockovich and less Mean Girls.

If the whole concept of unprofessional workplace habits is a bit of a mine field, there’s a handy book about it all; Don’t Burp in the Boardroom is full of both great and terrible ways to get out of a whole host of predicaments we could come across at work. Basically, it’s just trying to be mindful of others’ feelings just as you would do in every day life, but the difference is, at work you have to be civil to everyone (whether you like them or not.) Professionalism is key, especially as women are still being paid less than men, get less powerful jobs than men and are often seen as less capable in all positions from the warehouse to the penthouse. So let’s keep on top of those unprofessional work habits you need to drop and show them who really runs the world.

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