Five Unprofessional Behaviors to Avoid At Work

bad behaviour

I highlight five things you can do to become more professional at work. In this article, I will present some similar tips, but from a different angle.

These five behaviors may be accepted outside of the workplace, but while you’re at work – and trying to be professional – you should rule them out if you’re doing them.


No matter what your conversations are with friends or people outside of work, swearing in the workplace is a bad idea. It is rude, vulgar, and, most importantly, not very professional.

You may have received news that will not help your current project. You may have realized that you will miss the deadline. There may be other times when a quick swear word might seem appropriate. This is usually not the case. Be polite and think before you speak. Swearing at work is unprofessional.

Listen to music

You might want to listen to music at your desk, whether it’s on your iPod or through your computer. It can help you relax, concentrate, or improve your performance in some way.

However, wearing headphones is usually not a good idea, as you seem unapproachable. Other people will see that you are wearing headphones, and no matter the volume, they will think that you do not want them to approach you.

If you don’t have headphones and you’re playing music directly from your computer’s speakers, it’s even worse! Regardless of your colleagues’ musical tastes, they don’t want to listen to music from your computer when you’re trying to work.

Loud phone calls

Making phone calls is part of the job. You will often have to make and receive calls during the working day. However, when you are on the phone, speaking so loudly that people on the other side of the office can hear you is not very professional. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but there is a difference between talking on the phone at the right level and talking too loudly. Not everyone needs to hear your conversation.

If it’s an argument or a heated discussion, this might be the exception, as they (hopefully) won’t happen very often.

The rest of the office will rate your voice at the appropriate level.

Personal calls at your desk

Everyone recognizes that there is life outside of your work. You may have relatives and friends outside of work, and sometimes you need to talk to them during work hours. Or you may need to make a phone call or for other non-work related reasons – call your mechanic, make an appointment with a doctor, call a restaurant.

The picture looks better if you are making these calls away from your desktop. Go to the conference room, go to the kitchen, take your mobile phone and walk around the office, do everything in your power to get away from the desktop.

This is because your boss and colleagues expect you to work at your desk. Making calls or performing other tasks (such as browsing the Internet) sends a message that you are idle, even if your call is very important.

Poor hygiene

Dirty clothes, bad breath, bad breath, and matted hair are all traits that should not be used to describe you at work. Take pride in your appearance, and both your co-workers and bosses will notice.

If people can tell you that you have bad breath, or that your clothes are dirty or unwashed, that looks—you guessed it—unprofessional. Before leaving for work, make sure your hair is well styled. Sounds trite, but brush your teeth, make sure your clothes are ironed and clean, put on some antiperspirant, and check yourself in the mirror quickly to make sure you look presentable. You want to send a message to your boss that you pay attention to detail and feel comfortable with yourself and your job.


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