Unprofessional behaviour at workplace

Khushboo Kaushik is Content Manager at CareerBuilder India. Her expertise of writing can be uncovered in areas- Employer Branding, Recruitment Trends, Employee Engagement, Tech in HR. Also, a lover of poetry & art. Reach out to her at n.linkedin.com/in/khushboo-kaushik-4b525a102

There has been many fallacies about professionalism, one of which is, “You need to look professional to be professional.” From the 1960s, wearing a suit or completely formal attire has made people think they are credible, sophisticated or professional. However, professionalism is just not about how you look, but how you behave, or we can say, how you present yourself all together.

When it comes to an organization, we find people from all backgrounds, skills, age, and experience coming along and working together. However, when we talk about finding professionalism, we come across many employees who appear on time, deliver projects as assigned and take least leaves, still are unable to leave a lasting impact on their employers or even neighboring colleagues. Why? They act the wrong way.

While there are a myriad of examples but we have put forth those top 10 habits, which can help you figure the most unprofessional colleagues around you or conduct a real professionalism check on yourself:

1. Being Unresponsive


Some employees usually neglect to answer messages or calls, which results in getting input troublesome for managers or even colleagues working in tandem. These employees either do not feel comfortable in responding in a social environment or display a completely unpremeditated attitude by neglecting the e-mails, saying ‘Thank You’ on receiving important messages and so on.

2. Poor communication style

poor communicartion

“It’s that one word that make you remember amongst people or make them dislike you.” It is not about what you communicate but how well you do it. Some employees often use their position or power to mistreat their subordinates. Using an abusive tone or derogatory words inside work premises are clear signs of one’s unprofessional behavior.

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3. Exploiting work time

Exploiting work time

Whether an employee is just marking someone else’s attendance or altering his/her colleague’s worksheet, or selling something else from their desks- all top the list in exploiting company’s time. The work hours provided by an employer are to be worked for as ultimately they are the pay check employees receive at the end of the month. Misusing the work time means disrespecting your own association.

 4. Bragging


Being confident at workplace is a good sign, it allows you to work well with your colleagues. But, when an employee begins to use a tone of superiority, goes on telling things just about himself or herself, fails to cooperate with team mates or has a habit of putting others down, the individual is reflected as a victim of unprofessionalism.

 5. Doing your makeup at your desk

makeup for your desk

Easily observed at mid-sized organisations, there are employees who touch up at their desks. “Feeling lazy to use the rest room”, “It is comfortable here.” “There is a queue inside” are some of the statements, which we come across from people who love to look good but forget where they need to do that touch up. Grooming in public appears casual but does not make you like a professional anyway.

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6. Poor hygiene

poor hygiene

While, you might think it’s about personal health but when we are bound by certain rules and regulations circulated by the company, we need to follow them leaving behind out personal comforts. Hygiene is one of those most important habits, which if, is poor can easily make you the center of attraction in the competitive world. Regardless of the gender, employees who are found to be burping, snoring, cleaning their ears or nose, scratching, or rarely showering not just look unprofessional at workplace but also lose their chances of professional growth.

7. Interrupting


You might be a chatter-box in your personal life however workplace is a venue you must show your sophisticated side. It is not about being fake but interrupting others during a session, presentation or even a casual office break, all make you appear like least attached to office etiquettes. Speak when required, do not interrupt when others are giving their opinions.

8. Being too noisy

noisy at work

Silence is golden at workplace. It allows you to showcase your creative juices. However some employees just bring their personal fantasies to work life in the name of ‘freedom’. Playing loud music, speaking or laughing loudly more often, calling colleagues using a high volume all make such employees all the way more annoying, and leave foot prints of an unprofessional at the end of the day.

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9. Making personal calls all day long

Personal calls all day long

Staying away from home town, working for your family, a late-night party freak or whatever your story is, bosses will not appreciate your long day personal calls when the work is ought to be delivered. Being in the office premise is a way to demonstrate how much professionally disciplined you are as an employee. Phone calls can take a hold for the evenings.

10. Lying


Last but not the least, this habit is obviously unprofessional and can lead you into an unwanted trouble. Some employees have a tendency to use false reasons while applying for leaves, when not performing, or even while resigning. Employees who give reasons of ‘deceasing of a family member’, ‘illness of closed relations’ and more indicate how unreliable they are as employees and even as human beings. At workplace, staying true is the best way to succeed personally and professionally.

Have you noticed any of the above unprofessional habits in employees around you or felt one of those habits residing inside you as well? The sooner we learn to execute the real meaning of ‘professionalism’, the greater our chances of standing out in the crowd of immature, unprofessional colleagues. When the thought of ‘being different’ begins to hit your mind every now and then, nobody can cease your chances of success at workplace.

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