Needless gossip and taking undue credit for someone's else's hard work is not going to help your career in any way.
Bad habits are always hard to give up. But when they start posing a problem to those around you, it's a sign that you need to do something about them.
An office is meant to be a cooperative space where employees work together to achieve their goals.
Anything that is detrimental to this process needs to be identified and overcome no matter how hard.
However, many people aren't aware that their actions are causing problems until it's too late. To make it easier, we've listed some of the most harmful workplace habits:
1. Hogging the limelight
You might think of yourself as the star of the team. But if an entire team is responsible for the success of a project, give credit to the entire team.
Start thinking in terms of 'we' instead of 'I', especially while writing official e-mails and discussing strategy. This will help you project yourself as a leader and fetch you more respect.
You may never get tired of looking at yourself all day long, but doing it at your work desk can make you an object of ridicule.
Doing this sends the message that you do not respect your work and your workspace. You will not be taken seriously if you are forever straightening your tie and brushing your hair.
So, unless looking good is part of your job -- that is if you work in the beauty, fashion, film or advertising industry -- avoid sneaking glances at your reflection on your phone or in the glass walls.
This is a sin that many of us are guilty of, both inside the office and outside it.
Getting to know a juicy titbit about a co-worker can be tempting, but it's necessary to resist doing so and break the habit.
Rumours have a tendency to spread like wildfire, and you don't want to be known as the source of one of them.
Being a gossip-monger is not going to help your career in any way. Also, knowing only half the story or coming face-to-face with the subject of gossip can be very embarrassing and is a situation you do not want to find yourself in.
4. Saying 'yes' to everything
It is true that in an office environment you will be answerable to higher-ups and will have to follow a certain chain of command. But this does not necessarily mean that you have to agree with everything they say or do things you don't want to.
While it might be tempting to just nod your head and go along with everything others suggest, this can get you labelled as a people-pleaser or an overtly passive person.
It might even lead others to take undue advantage of you. Conversely, it could also cast a shadow over your own sincerity.
It's great if you have a good group of friends at your workplace. But this does not mean that they have to be enlightened about every tiny detail of your personal life like how you had a fight with your spouse that morning or the complaints you received from your child's school teacher.
Everyone has their share of problems to deal with outside of the office, and they really don't want to hear you constantly whine about yours or listen to you praise your child to the stars for cleaning up after playtime.
If you do not mend your ways, be prepared to see a full room quickly empty out the moment you step in.
Small things make a big difference and just putting in a conscious effort to stop yourself in time can go a long way in ensuring a good work life. So be wary of your actions and take steps to correct them if you find them working against you.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Erin Siegal/Reuters