8 Bad Workplace Habits That Hinder Success and How to Improve Them

December 17, 2023
10 bad habits

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Bad habits at workplaces are not uncommon. We all have them. Procrastination, lack of punctuality, gossiping – the list is endless. So, do bad workplace habits make one a terrible person? Well, not exactly. But yes – they do affect your reputation.

These bad behaviors can create an image you wouldn’t like to be associated with. Over time, they can develop hindrances in your career progression. It’s high time you understand the repercussions of these actions and correct them soon.

In this article, we are focusing on some of the top bad habits often seen in workplaces. Read on to know more about how to tackle them to lead a more fulfilling life.

8 Bad Habits to Avoid at the Workplace

Look at this bad habits list that are red flags for modern-day professionals.


Delaying tasks is one of the worst habits that can hamper your career trajectory. One in every five people admits that they delay tasks. This habit of putting off work can lead to poor quality work. In the worst-case scenarios, you can also end up missing the deadline.

Besides compromising work, you are also hampering the workflow of the ones associated with the project. So, is there a way out? Yes. Experts recommend breaking down complex tasks into attainable goals. Creating a to-do list and organizing your work calendar can also help. It is the best way to eliminate this one of the top 10 bad habits at work.


Poor organization skill is one of the worst 10 bad habits. It can impact your ability to get what you aim for. Moreover, it decreases productivity and can even affect your mental health. Professionals who lack organization skills are more prone to stress, anxiety and depression. Searching for documents or missing crucial information are signs of this bad habit.

Besides, disorganization can also make it difficult for you to rank daily tasks. In other words, disorganization can create chaos in your professional life. However, using time management apps and planning your day in advance can help overcome this issue.

Negative Attitude

It is one of the top examples of bad behavior in the workplace. Negative people can come up with hundred reasons not to perform a job. They complain about almost everything around them. Moreover, they exaggerate issues and mistakes and try to manipulate other workers.

Negative people also don’t hesitate to gossip about the management. They judge and question their decisions. All these things create an unpleasant and unhappy work culture, impacting other employees. Such people bring down the team morale, making it difficult to work with others. It is one of the most common among the top 10 bad habits in the workplace.

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Poor Communication

The absence of clear communication can lead to mistakes, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. It is one of the worst among the 10 bad habits. Do you also face this situation at the workplace? If yes, it can be a red flag impacting your professional career.

Poor communication can lead to ineffective project development and other bad work habits. Besides, people with poor communication skills often indulge in office politics and gossiping. The ultimate consequence of all this is time and resource wastage.


Over 84.4% of employees feel distracted at work. And what are the top distractions at the workplace? Smartphones (55%), emails (26%), social media/online shopping (41%), and chitchatting (27%).

It is one of the worst bad behaviors that employers need to be addressed at the earliest. Moreover, employees should also take steps to overcome this habit. Controlling smartphone usage, making task deadlines, and blocking time can help.

Lack of Punctuality

It is one of the common bad habits examples that every employee should know about. Modern-day employers need workers who can arrive and complete tasks on time. Failing to do so can impact your career trajectory and reputation.

Lack of punctuality is among the worst 10 bad habits that also lower team morale. It makes the procrastinator come out as an irresponsible professional. This bad workplace habit calls for a conscious shift in mindset before things go out of hand.

Resistance to Feedback

Do you often shut down or go silent to feedback? Or is counter-attacking your strategy to face feedback? If so, this resistance to feedback can cost you. This unwillingness to accept constructive responses can lead to growth stagnation.

So, how to tackle a bad habit, especially resistance to feedback? Both employer and employee should work together to resolve this issue. Having empathy and understanding each other’s POVs can help.


Micromanaging tops the bad habits list. This term is used for employers who exercise excess supervision on employees. Constantly checking on others’ work and not trusting team members are signs of micromanaging.

It also includes frequent criticism of the tasks and processes. Such behavior creates a toxic work environment. It impacts productivity and team spirit It is one of the worst top 10 bad habits. Ensure you correct it as soon as possible.

How to Tackle a Bad Habit at Work

Here are some effective ways to tackle bad habits at work:

Accept the Habit

Acceptance is the key. Acknowledge that you have a bad habit and that it is interfering with your work effectiveness and productivity. Then, sit with your managers or colleagues to understand how to overcome it. You can also get enriching information about it online. So, ensure you use all the available resources

Identify the Triggers

Besides acceptance, identifying triggers is also essential. Triggers are endless. For instance, smartphones, gossip, noise, etc. So, you need to identify the emotion or situations that encourage you to engage in a bad habit. It is a great way to control these triggers and improve productivity.

Develop a Plan

Consider developing a plan to overcome a bad habit. Here are some tips for it:

  • Breakdown complex tasks into small portions
  • Set daily goals
  • Develop a productive routine
  • Find new habits to divert your mind from bad ones
  • Practice self-assessment or seek feedback from others.

Get Support

Another great way to overcome bad habits is by seeking support. Seek guidance from your mentor, friends, or colleagues. Share your issue with them and understand what are the top 10 bad habits that can impact your growth. But be ready to be accountable for your actions and decisions.

Practice Self-compassion

It’s human to err! So, be easy on yourself. Avoid making harsh decisions to break the bad habit. Instead, spend some time alone and reflect on your personal and professional goals. Take baby steps to combat every challenge. Then, learn from your mistakes and plan better the next time.

Getting Rid of Bad Habits

We looked at the top workplace habits that can hinder your dreams of professional excellence, in detail. Remember, almost every person goes through this phase. But the winner always comes out stronger and wiser. So, start with identifying your worst habits at the workplace.

Acknowledge your flaws and seek guidance to overcome them. Remember, persistence and determination can help you overcome the biggest challenges in life. Moreover, try to develop a positive attitude. After all, it used to be your dream job once. So, find your lost passion and enjoy every task that comes your way.

This simple approach can help you overcome most of the worst habits. Apart from this, improve your agility. It will help you adjust to adverse situations better. This quality can also improve your workplace engagement.

You should interact with your colleagues, mentors and managers. But, avoid irrelevant gossip and focus more on productive topics. It is a great way to develop a fresh mindset and point of view.

And for more career tips and useful information view our more blogs on Life Skills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are the most common bad habits?

Procrastination is one of the most common bad habits in the workplace. Stats reveal that one in five people delay their regular tasks. This habit can affect their productivity and performance. Moreover, constant procrastination can also impact the performance of the entire team and project. Employees who want to have a successful career should get rid of this habit as soon as possible.

What are the most toxic workplace habits?

Negative attitudes and micromanaging are the two most toxic workplace habits and are examples of bad behaviour. A negative attitude can turn you into a toxic individual who is never happy with management decisions. Moreover, micromanaging or constant supervision of the actions of others can make you an annoying person. As a result, people will prefer to avoid your involvement in team meetings.

How to tackle bad habits at work?

The five-step guide to tackling bad habits at work:
1. Accept the habit and start researching about it.
2. Identify the triggers and try to avoid them as much as possible.
3. Develop a plan or strategy to overcome your bad habit.
4. Seek support from your managers, colleagues, and mentors.
5. Practice self-compassion and give yourself time to change.

How do bad habits affect our life?

Bad habits in the workplace can interrupt your personal and professional life. It can create hindrances in attaining your goals. Moreover, these bad habits can also take a toll on your health. It can lead to issues like anxiety, depression, stress, etc. Lastly, bad workplace habits can waste a lot of your time and energy.

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