Five Things Not to Do at Work

Senior executive lists activities to avoid doing at the office



Personal business always has a way of inserting itself in the office, whether it’s because you have a few spare minutes between projects to schedule a doctor’s appointment or need to check-in with the babysitter to see if the kids got home from school OK.

Taking care of certain personal issues at work is acceptable, but there are some independent activities you should avoid engaging in at the office. Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, recently named 10 things to never, ever do at work. Here are five of them:

Buy and Sell Products

Buying or selling products (such as cosmetics or furniture) for personal gain should not take place on the job, Ryan says. If the company allows for you to do so, exchanges should be made away from your desk so as not to distract others.

Conduct Committee/Volunteer Work

No matter how many helpful resources your office may have, using them to do work for your outside affiliations is unprofessional, Ryan says. It’s best to take care of these projects from home.

Manage a Side Business

Conducting a consulting business on the side for an area you excel at is a great idea, Ryan says, just not at the office. It can be distracting to coworkers and make them feel as if your priorities are divided.

Emphasize Personal Beliefs

Workers should not feel pressured by outside propositions, Ryan says. That includes being educated on a coworker’s faith traditions or being talked into attending a religious service.

Actively Seek Job Openings

Even if you are unhappy within a job and your job is not monitoring your work activity, it is still extremely impolite to update your resume and search for job openings from your desk, Ryan says. Save it for after hours when you are not being compensated for your time.

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