Good habits like being proactive and staying on top of industry news are key to being a great employee, there are others that can make (and keep) you unemployed. Here are five bad work habits that can cost you your job.

Being Late

Unusually heavy traffic or a family emergency can cause even the most punctual person to be late on occasion. However, being chronically late to a job site is a very bad work habit to have. It shows your employers that you don’t value their time nor take the job seriously. You also come off as a lazy and careless employee. If being on time is not one of your strong points, there are things that you can do on a daily basis that can help. Prepare for the workday the night before so you’re not as rushed in the morning. Set your alarm for 20 minutes before you need to wake up and check the traffic report before leaving.

Always Complaining

Everyone has a bad day but if you seem to have a bad day everyday it can negatively impact your chances of keeping a job. Constant grumbling with coworkers, bad mouthing management and responding negatively to all requests are examples of this bad work habit. By causing such a negative and tense work environment, those around you can’t work efficiently. It also makes you a very hard employee to work with (but an easy one to fire).


While telling blatant lies like telling an employer something was handled when it clearly wasn’t is an obvious workplace no-no, there are some that may seem harmless but could cost you your job. Logging in hours you didn’t work on a timesheet, taking the credit for a fellow employees work or misrepresenting your technical skills are bad work habits that can cause an employer not to trust you both as a person and as an employee.

Being Distracted on the Job

Texting, gossiping too much with coworkers or simply rushing through a job are some examples of being distracted on the job. Why is this a bad work habit? By being distracted you’re much more likely to make mistakes. Being distracted while working can also jeopardize the safety of yourself and others. Texting while driving a forklift or talking while working with power tools can have serious consequences. The easy fix for this? Put the phone away, pay close attention to what you're working on and reserve lengthy conversations with your peers for non-work hours.

Not Adhering to Safety Rules

Speaking of safety, when working in day labor another bad work habit you don’t want to have is not following the safety rules. That includes forgetting to wear safety gear like hard hats, gloves and goggles, taking short cuts like climbing into your heavy equipment incorrectly or not reporting work hazards like spills to your supervisor. The risk of injury goes way up when this happens and it can not only cost you your job but your health as well. So always follow the safety guidelines laid out by your employer at all times.

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