KEEP SIDE CONVERSATIONS AT A MINIMUM
Finding people you get along with at work can be something to be truly thankful for. But having close connections means that you’ll probably also have a lot to talk about with each other. Keep in mind that you can have friends and fun at work, but try to tighten up your conversations. Go for a 15-minute walk together to catch up, or take a lunch break with them. But limit the amount of time you’re having personal conversations, or your boss might call you out for it.
DRESS THE PART
Whether you wear a suit and tie, apron, colourful scrubs, or jeans and a blouse to work, looking the part is another way to be professional. If your dress code is business casual, make sure you aren’t wearing anything that looks too casual. If you have to dress up every day, iron your clothing. And if you don’t have a dress code and can wear pretty much whatever you want, don’t take advantage of it. Make sure your clothing is always clean, professional, and unoffensive.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BREAKS
One thing that employers hate is not being able to locate employees at work. They might have an important question, or they might just be curious where you’re spending your time. Whether you’re stepping out for lunch, a 15-minute break, or you’re visiting a co-worker, keep in mind your break usage. Most companies give you a lunch break and a 15-minute break. But just be cognizant of how much time you’re spending away from your desk.
SHOW UP TO MEETINGS ON TIME
Another thing that managers and meeting organisers hate is when someone shows up late to a meeting. It’s disrespectful, and it can keep the meeting from starting on time. To ensure you aren’t called out for being late, always plan to arrive five-to-ten minutes before the meeting starts. This will give you a little wiggle room to run to the restroom, have a side conversation on the way, or battle traffic (if you’re going to a different location). Beyond your control, sometimes a previous meeting will run late…but give the meeting organiser a head’s up if so.
BE AS DETAIL-ORIENTED AS POSSIBLE
If you’re unorganised at work, it’s going to show. This can include not knowing when a meeting starts, missing a deadline, or forgetting an important aspect of a project. To ensure you’re paying attention to the details, take notes, set reminders, and double-check deadlines. Your boss will respect and admire you for it.
LIMIT PERSONAL PHONE USE
In this day and age, our cell phones are practically connected to us at all times. We take our phones into meetings, the restroom, and even down the hall to get something from the printer. But even though you have a phone, don’t overuse it. Keep texting at a minimum by telling your friends and family that you can’t text at work. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings. And don’t play games on your phone unless you’re on a break. Finally, never be on your phone during a meeting. It’s distracting for others, and it shows a lack of respect for whomever is leading the meeting.
LEAVE PERSONAL PROBLEMS AT HOME
Most people are at work for over 40 hours a week. Because of that, a lot of the baggage we have in our personal lives tends to unload at work. But this is something everyone has to be careful of. You might have a lot going on at home, but don’t let it distract you from doing your job. If you’re having a really bad day or need to deal with something personal, try to take a day off to take care of it, or at least deal with it on your lunch break.