COMPANY CULTURE / SEP. 15, 2014
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5 Annoying Office Habits that Improve Workplace Culture

The workplace can sometimes be an extremely stressful place, and not everyone enjoys things like micromanaging, being CC’d on every email or starting the day at 10 AM. However, according to Of a Kind partners Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, these habits are things that the workplace can adopt to encourage a more positive and productive workplace culture.

CC Everyone

Not literally everyone. But Cerulo states that by CC’ing the necessary people on most emails and forming a habit of it, important information is far less likely to fall through the cracks. Even if someone who doesn’t need to be in the loop on a certain project is, it’s better to have too many informed people than not nearly enough.

Professionals don’t need to read every email that they’re CC’d on, either. If you know that an email has information that isn’t necessarily for you, you can always store it away for later in case something comes up or your position on the project changes.

Start later in the day

Some folks prefer to begin early in the morning, and it’s understandable--it means you get to go home earlier, you may get work done before everyone arrives for the day, or you may just be more productive before the afternoon slump hits. However, for some companies, work extends late into the evening with social events, dinners, brainstorming sessions and more. Suddenly your 8-hour work days are turning into 10- or 12- hour workdays, and no one wants that.

So consider starting your day a little later. If you know you’ll be working into the evening hours, take some personal time in the morning to get things done or to spend a little time with family or friends.

Micromanage--to an extent

No one likes to be truly micromanaged. However, especially for a company with a lot of fresh graduates or new employees, having smaller (think hourly) calendars that managers can add to can really save everyone a lot of time and effort.

Get your employees into the habit of checking that calendar a few times a day or setting up notifications for updates; this way no one’s receiving emails at 4 AM and new employees get a feel for a company’s priorities and what’s important.

Ask for help, even if it’s embarrassing

This may seem like common sense to some, but many managers and supervisors are never more annoyed than when you’re bothering them with questions or concerns. However, which would you rather have: a manager who is irritated that you’re asking too many questions, or getting fired because you had no idea what you were doing?

Even if it’s embarrassing, ask for help or ask questions if you don’t understand. Sure, managers and co-workers may find it annoying from time to time (some bosses don’t mind when you ask for help!), but it’s better than making a total fool out of yourself.

Let others--especially your boss--know if you’re stressed

Being stressed over small amounts of work is a normal feeling that many get, especially when that work comes with a deadline or a long task list. However, if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed with your workload, communicate that to your boss ASAP.

Many people will argue that showing your stress is almost like showing a sign of weakness--but in actuality, it could prevent you from becoming totally miserable and angry later on.

By making these small changes, Cerulo and her partner have created a fun and productive place to work for employees of all levels. By including the necessary people in all communication, you cut down the number of meetings and desk-side chats that can often be time-consuming and distracting.

Starting later in the day can help ensure that you and your employees have a healthy work/life balance that doesn’t include 12-hour workdays or absurdly long hours. Finally, micromanaging can introduce new employees and fresh graduates to company priorities and help them maintain a productive schedule that managers can keep tabs on.

What perks do you like about your company culture? What are some of the downsides to habits like these? What do you wish your company culture did differently?

Creative Commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by Infusionsoft.

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