It’s understandable that, in all the time we spend with coworkers and bosses, we might have let a bad habit or two slip. Many of these office faux pas, however, may be avoided — you just need to know what it is that drives everyone around you nuts. For the sake of your office companions, take a moment to remind yourself what behavior at work may be getting on someone’s last nerve.
Showing up late to work
“Punctuality is critical,” said 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. It’s not like they just sprung this job on you,” she said.
Rolling in 10 minutes late to every meeting
Similarly, arriving late to meetings shows that you neither respect your coworkers — who showed up on time, by the way — nor the meeting organizer, Vicky Oliver, author of ” 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions ,” told Business Insider.
“Keeping people waiting can be construed as inconsiderate, rude, or arrogant,” Randall said.
Calling in sick when you aren’t
“Remember the adage that half of life is showing up,” Oliver said.
You won’t prove you deserve the promotion if you fake sick every few weeks.
Eating particularly smelly food at your desk
Eat lunch at your desk at your own peril.
Experts say you should never eat lunch at your desk because it’s unhealthy.
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’ happiness .
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
• Hard boiled eggs
• Brussels sprouts
• Raw onions
• Tuna salad
• Stinky cheese
Being negative all the time
Repeatedly responding to suggestions with a pessimistic or contrary attitude can be construed as being uncooperative, Randall said. 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 said. “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.”
“There’s nothing as energy-draining as having to deal with a pessimistic coworker,” Rosemary Haefner, the former chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder , told Business Insider. “Things do go wrong, but even when they do, focus your energy towards what you’ve learned from a bad situation.”
She pointed 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.