So it’s another dull day at the office with your manager making the same routine demands on you as the day before. The concept of giving your time to someone else doesn’t come easily to most individuals and we all need some time to do our own thing. But certain acts that really cross the line could get you fired! So, we’ve come up with the top ten things you should not do at your workplace.
1. No Porn!
You Tube videos allow for a fair amount of uncensored material, from music videos to personal ones that don’t really cross into the porno realm. But watching suggestive scenes from the Dirty Picture or checking out the wet girls in bikinis at Victoria’s Secret is really best done at home (if you don’t have Internet or live with your parents, try an Internet cafe!) Shalini Sharma recounts, “Some colleagues and I were watching a video on YouTube that was pretty racy (but without nudity). But the suggestion was enough for some guys. They got really embarrassed and had to be excused!” Regardless of the presence of your colleagues, this behavior reflects badly on you and could lead to charges of improper behavior and you losing your job.
2. Snooze Time
This is a toughie after a night of partying. But it’s so difficult to keep your eyes open at times. We would suggest stocking up on Red Bull and keeping yourself alert with lots of coffee. If you find yourself nodding off at your desk on a slow day, it’s not really helpful to take a nap at work! It shows that you are not alert and gives a very bad impression to your colleagues and manager who may think that you are not taking work seriously or are unable to meet your commitments. If you don’t take any kind of caffeine, a brisk walk in the fresh air will help to clear the fog in your head. In the worst case, at least try to find a quiet secluded corner where no one is likely to stumble upon you as you visit dreamland. Or better yet, take a sick day and go home!
3. Affair With Your Boss
We all love men/women in power. After all, sex is also partly about power play. Having an affair with your boss though is one of the top ‘not-to-do’ things that should be avoided at all costs. It’s going to weigh in to your interpersonal relationship at work and will probably hamper productivity for both parties. In rare cases do such relationships work out; more likely, it will blow up in your face and lead to you having to leave a job that you like. At this point, you may be wondering if a colleague may be acceptable for an office romance? Unless you plan to marry the individual, it’s probably going to wreck your professional career (not to mention that it’s a huge distraction to play footsie at meetings). In case you do decide to throw caution to the wind, make sure that no one at work ever finds out. Otherwise, you may have to kill them.
4. Download Movies/ Surf Online /Skype Your Long-Distance Lover
There’s the new Batman movie you are dying to see. And you probably have a fast Internet connection at work. Or if you are dying to see the latest post from your friends about that party they all went to last night. What most people don’t realise that the computer you use is property of your company and your Internet use is likely to be monitored and logged. Also, using the office Internet excessively for your personal use will certainly reduce the office bandwidth and make the Internet unbearably slow for your colleagues. Moreover, this kind of online faffing can take away hours of productive work time and will probably be noticed sooner or later. So if you are fine with your private life being pasted all over the management’s desk, then go on and Skype your partner. Otherwise, it makes sense not to misuse your office resources for yourself.
5. Go To Work Looking Like A Hobo
So you probably didn’t have time to shower or change clothes while sleeping at the doorstep of your workplace. But it would be hove you to take some care with your personal appearance and hygiene. Smelly colleagues are liked by no one! In an emergency, it helps to pop into a departmental store, pick out some new clothes and wear them in the office loo. Slap on some deodorant and accessories and you’re good to go!
6. Help Yourself to Office Supplies
I actually knew someone who used to swipe the toilet roll kept at the loo! If you have ever considered the same, then ask yourself, are you really not being paid enough? (A note to all the interns out there, we love you, but seriously! Ask for a stipend if that’s the problem). Maybe it’s time to switch jobs… it starts with pens and staplers, but watch out for the hidden kleptomaniac in you. Soon it will be the petty cash, USB drives, notepads, headphones and what not. These resources belong to your workplace, and taking them for your own use essentially amounts to stealing. You may think it’s no big deal, but if your boss decides not to look the other way, it could easily form grounds for dismissal.
7. Tell Your Clients/Colleagues to F*** Off
Tempting, isn’t it? But it’s best not to use abusive language at work, even while making jokes. Even if you have your own set of friends with whom it’s probably okay, when used in the context of work, you can be easily overheard and misunderstood. If a client or a colleague is using abusive language with you, then the best thing is to ask him not to and if he continues, then to report that to his or your supervisor. And if things become heated during any discussion or negotiation, it’s always good to keep your cool and not aggravate people the wrong way. Leave the filthy language at home!
8. Listen to Obnoxious Music
This includes Justin Beiber, for obvious reasons. Buy some headphones and update your mp3 collection while you are at it. People are trying to get some work done.
9. Bitch About Your Colleagues/Boss
The walls have ears, especially at the workplace. And don’t be daft enough to email your opinions to a colleague when you’re at work! Even your private chat messages belong to the public domain, and yes, big brother is watching. Friday night drinks were invented for this reason, as were smoking breaks. It’s an excellent reason to take up the habit. If you’re adamant not to drink or smoke, then you just have to suck it up and cry to your mother when you go home.
10. Apply For Another Job
So you are looking out for a career change. But applying to your company’s competitors while you are at work is not the best idea. You may sometimes get emails or calls from recruitment companies, but it’s best to take these calls outside your workplace. If they are not available outside of work hours, then take a break and step outside where you can discuss the role and remuneration without any worries. Otherwise, you may be switching jobs sooner than you think!