7 little things you do at work that are actually really unprofessional

Sometimes when we’ve been working somewhere for an extended period, we get a little…comfortable. And while there’s nothing wrong with a relaxed work environment (in fact, relaxed work environments are generally awesome), it’s also always good to make sure we don’t overstep our boundaries and do something wildly unprofessional at work.

While every boss and work place is different, there are a few behaviors and habits that are always better to keep in check. Not only will it help contribute to a healthier work environment for everyone, but you’ll also be helping out #1—AKA yourself. Because remember: You might be relying on some of the people around you for recommendations or references down the road, or you might one day put your hat in the ring for that big promotion.

So without further ado, here are a few seemingly minor things that might be making you look unprofessional at work.

1Checking your social media accounts

Unless you run the social media account for your business, checking social media accounts is a big no-no. Not only will it look like you’re wasting company time, but accidentally staying logged in is a quick way to embarrass yourself in front of your co-workers. Wait to check during your lunch breaks.

2Polishing your nails

Sometimes a nail chips, and the obsessive among us absolutely hate that—we get it. But by bringing a bottle of your favorite nail color to work, you’re pretty much advertising that you’ll be unavailable to pick up a phone, grab a copy, or type for about 15 minutes. Plus, even though the smell of nail polish reminds some of us of relaxing weekend manicures with friends, it may majorly bother your cubicle neighbor.


Passion is important, and it’s often what gets you ahead. But being so passionate that you talk over others—especially in meetings—sends the message that you’re not listening to what other’s have to offer. Plus, you risk not being seen as a team player.

4Hazing the new hire

If you’ve worked somewhere for awhile, you’ve probably built up your “alliance” of buddies, which can be somewhat intimidating for a new hire. Make sure to treat the new gal or guy the same way you’d have wanted to be treated on your first day, and try to keep any snap judgments to yourself.


It’s totally fine to quietly dish to your work BFF. But over-sharing details about your personal life to the office might make others wonder if you’re capable of keeping sensitive or confidential workplace information to yourself. Make sure you treat your colleagues like your coworkers, not your audience.

And on this note, it’s always wise to avoid gossip. Strive to be someone who others trust with important information.

6Putting off the small stuff

Sometimes, tasks seem so simple that we shove them aside. Unfortunately, all those little things build up, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. Strive for A+ work on everything—big and small—and you’ll develop a reputation for excellence.

7Getting drunk at office parties

Nobody wants to be that person at the office party. Trust us. While it’s of course perfectly fine to have a drink or two with colleagues, it’s also important to set limits when it comes to socializing professionally. When it comes to you career, you never want to put yourself in a position where you’ll regret your decisions or behavior.

Navigating the work place can be hard, but you got this.

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