By Janet Adetu

Have you noticed bad habits among your staff lately?

The workplace is the beginning of where your career begins or what I would say an important point of your life journey and experience. Whether this workplace is but for a temporary period or a place you plan to grow, develop and thrive on. In the past getting a job was such a great deal because it meant that one was now an adult capable of being independent and capable of making responsible decisions.  This significance is seen in some cultures where young adults would honour those who educated them by giving them part of their first salary as an appreciation for taking them to that level. Millennials today have changed the face of the workplace, some almost do not care if they get a job or not. Some feel so entitled at work that they stroll in late consistently, others are quite restless on the job and always demand a pay rise for being in the company for what they term a whole year.

The change on the flip side is good in many ways, as business owners and corporate executives are forced to wake up and go with certain new technological trends. The workplace is also where a large chunk of one’s active time is spent in the course of the week, some even add the weekends to their work schedule and almost barely get the chance to take time off. Spoken, written and face to face communication contact in the work space and certain like that month in month out.

With all this in mind the workplace is bound to experience an array of personalities, characters, attitudes, behaviour and above all habits, both good bad and at times the ugly. Habits are what employees pick up along the way, either from their lackadaisical behaviour, poor policy execution, limited repercussions, faulty management style and general poor attitude to work. It is important that when they are noticed they should not be overlooked as trivial but adhered immediately for impact.


Tinuke has a habit of strolling into the office on average at 9:00am every day, at times almost at 9:30am, she claims the traffic from her distance residence is the reason for this habit of lateness each day. By the nature of her job she meets clients on a regular basis. On a couple of occasions the client has reported her impolite lateness with no apology. To date management have failed to address this as it is deemed, Tinuke is one of the senior long-serving staff who has a decision-making capacity. The junior staff have frowned at her poor habits of coming late to work, late for meetings and late for in house appointments. This is a true story of a professional her poor habit leading to negatively impacting company policy and standards. The implication is reputation damage to the company and a fall in the overall bottom line, if drastic measures are not implied.

Habits Needed to be Addressed:

Persistent Lateness

This is major creating many problems in the business and corporate space today. Running a few minutes late is acceptable with an apology or advanced notice. Appearing one hour or more after the scheduled time is what is not acceptable, for many reasons it speaks to the lack of ability to organize ones schedule or manage ones time. It is disrespectful to those who have made that effort to be there on time who are more structured.  Discipline with time is a skill that must be practiced, it is a bad habit and an image saboteur to be labelled a persistent late comer.

Sloppy Dressing

Have you ever thought of needing the services of an image consultant?

Are you stuck in a rut and always uncertain as to what to wear to work? Are you in need of a huge image makeover?

Sloppy dressing cannot go unnoticed it speaks to an area that you are not conversant with. Slopping dressing is where you dress haphazardly regardless of the place, occasion, moment and time. You dress not to be included, accepted or recognised, your coordination is poor and sense of colour is  doubtful. It is a bad habit to show up at work, a meeting or conference without considering the cause of the day. First impressions means a lot in business, the workplace directly influences your appraisal, recognition, assignment, external representation, promotion and more. As the adage goes “Dress the way you want to be addressed “.

Failure to wash hands

It is difficult to know how often one washes their hands in the workplace, however many reports have come in to say that it is not as often as expected. Whether this is in the office kitchen or convenience, washing of hands is majorly essential, it is a very bad habit not to recognize the importance of grooming for many health and safety reasons.

I always say carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and hand wipes in every bag.

Nose Picking / Sneezing in the Hand

Nose picking is an unconscious effort of many, it is commenced even before you are aware of it. It can be irritating more so  when the act is seen and done in the public eye. Sneezing generally in the air with no regard for others in the office is generally considered a bad habit. It is also worse when the act of sneezing is done into ones hands especially without wiping immediately. This for me is a complete No No, quite spontaneous but a health hazard all the same. These habits should be done discreetly with a handkerchief in hand.



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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.