With the local job market showing sure signs of improvement, employees need to be as careful as they were during the distress years of recession, recruitment experts warn.
There are plenty of good candidates available in the market, and an employer won’t really have to try too hard in getting a replacement in case he thinks you deserve to be fired, they claim.
Doing your day’s work honestly is, of course, the golden mantra, but not doing certain things can also help you avoid unnecessary problems at the workplace.
If you want to be seen as a serious employee, you just have to be more careful about not making some annoying mistakes, unless you really don’t care about losing your job. That’s why you need to avoid doing these five things at work.
#1 Being too Social – Online, that is
One of the biggest mistake people make at work is abusing the time they have with spending it recklessly on the Internet and social media. While the Internet and social media are great work tools, they can be – and are often – misused.
And misusing the Internet can have serious repercussions. “The biggest mistake people make at work is abusing the time they have on the Internet, social media and using their company e-mail for private purpose,” Jennifer Campori, Managing Director, Middle East and Europe, Charterhouse Partnership, told Emirates 24|7.
“While the Internet and social media are great work tools, they can be abused and the last thing companies want to pay for is your time on the Internet,” she added.
Employees often chat online with family and friends, spend time on Twitter and Facebook during the time they should be slogging hard for the company they are employed with.
“It is unethical. How can employees use somebody else’s time, money and bandwidth? They are being paid to work, not socialise,” said the HR manager of a multinational bank in Dubai without wishing to be named.
#2 Online Shopping
An extension of the excessive use of the Internet, some employees also shop online while at work.
Time that could have been used productively is often wasted on Souq.com, eBay, Amazon and a whole lot of other sites, whether window shopping designer labels or actually swiping the credit card for the goods purchased.
“Invariably, all travel booking and ticketing is done in office – checking the best rates available to taking the ticket print-out – is all done on somebody else’s money,” said an employee working with a media company in Dubai. Avoid it.
#3 Gossiping and Office Politics
Gossiping should be avoided under all circumstances. Recruitment experts in the country believe it can only have adverse effects and reactions.
“There are objective rules like avoid too much gossiping,” said Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase International.
“Most importantly, employees should avoid any office politics or gossip in the workplace. While it may be tempting to join in discussions about issues or individuals, your comments may find themselves related to senior managers, potentially impacting your advancement with the company,” said James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East.
“Instead, try to take the high road by walking away or politely declining to engage in such behaviour,” he suggested.
Passing on information to another employee, who then passes it on to the next one, should also be avoided.
For example, talking about a particular ‘undeserving’ employee getting the biggest hike when this may not be the case will only lead to feelings of discontent among other team members, and you may have to face the wrath of the boss if the gossip is tracked back to you.
#4 Missing in Action
Taking too many leave often leaves a bad impression and no boss or office will give you a clean chit to stay away from work. Silly excuses to just avoid work can only land you in deeper soup. In this case, you will be given a few warnings, which then may lead to termination.
“Avoiding absenteeism and being a good team player,” are traits that should be followed at work, says the Stanton Chase expert. “However, things an employee should avoid will depend on the company one works for. For instance, in some companies, arriving late in the morning might be frowned upon whereas in other companies, it might still be acceptable,” she added.
#5 Complaining About Your Job
Negativity nurtures negativity. Employees should be smart enough to behave professionally in today’s job market.
Avoid acting unprofessional by constantly complaining about your job, salary or working conditions. Be proud of your work, your workplace or at least pretend to be until you have the next offer letter in hand.