Survey Reveals Two Biggest Workplace Faux Pas

By: Marie Donlon

The two biggest workplace faux pas you can commit, according to a recent survey from Accountemps, that are sure to upset both your manager and your coworkers, are running late and gossiping, respectively.

“Punctuality is very important to managers,” says Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “For employees, they may be more bothered by office gossip since it may happen when their bosses aren’t within earshot.”

Running late is sure to get the attention of your bosses and, as Steinitz suggests, could be career-damaging.

“Others may perceive a lack of punctuality as unreliability, which can reflect poorly on your professional reputation,” he said.

One solution recommended by workplace analyst Laura Handrick of

“The best thing to do to escape the ire of your peers and managers is to let them know in advance that you’re running late,” she said. “That demonstrates respect for the meeting leader and participants. It also gives the meeting leader the option to postpone or reschedule the meeting. Giving them a heads up is the best way to not look like a schmuck walking into a meeting late.”

Also terrible for your career, according to both Steinitz and Handrick, is gossip.

“Workplace gossip can lead to loss of productivity and trust within the team, hurt feelings, and workers forming negative opinions of each other,” said Steinitz. “In some cases, it could cause workers to leave the company.”

A simple solution, according to Handrick: “Saying mean-spirited things about your coworkers makes you appear negative, ugly, and untrustworthy. Change the focus of your work conversations to praise and recognition. You’ll find your work life will improve as coworkers learn to see you as a positive person worthy of their trust.”