Employees don’t always think about how their actions can contribute to the overall work environment. They moan that their job is tough or the company they work for is bad without thinking about how their choices actually impact the mood and atmosphere at work.

But it’s not just grousing that can make life at work unpleasant. There are a variety of things that employees often do that help create an unhappy work environment. Here are ten actions you can stop doing on the job that will help make your work life happier.

Giving Up Breaks

Breaks during the day – morning, lunch, and afternoon – are a very important part of keeping employees sane. Workers who don’t take proper breaks either because they feel they don’t have the time or that it makes them look like hard working employees are wrong.

Breaks are there for a purpose. They are meant to give you a chance to unwind and renew albeit only briefly. Stop avoiding breaks thinking this will benefit you. It benefits no one.


Believing Everything is a Priority

Ever feel as if everything needed to be done right now? Thinking (and behaving) like everything is a priority may very likely backfire. Without clear priorities, you may find it difficult to focus. And without focus, it’s tough to get the work done.

Prioritize the work assignments you have each day and you will likely find that the workflow goes much smoother. Don’t try and make everything a priority or you’re liable to find you accomplish very little.

Responding to Email Messages Instantly

Yes, it is important to answer your verbal and email messages within a timely manner. However, that doesn’t mean 10 seconds after they are received.

First, by being “Johnny on the spot” you establish unrealistic expectations that you will always respond quickly. And secondly, responding quickly before you have had a chance to consider thoroughly how you should respond could cause you to say the wrong thing. Take your time and mull over the best response before responding.

Working Too Much Overtime

If you cannot complete the work assigned to you in the allotted eight hours a day, it generally means one of two things: either you’re poor at managing your workload or you’ve been given too much to do.

Occasionally working overtime is fine. However, over time should not be a regular part of the workday schedule. Before working overtime you should ask: is working this overtime absolutely necessary? Chances are you will realize that whatever it is that needs to get done can wait until another day.

Always Saying ‘Yes’

Shut up! Now! Do not agree to take on that special project or handle the workload that someone else is incapable of performing. It’s important to learn to say ‘no.’ Otherwise, you may wind up with too much on your plate.

Agreeing With the Boss

Just like the customer, the boss is not always right. Now, this doesn’t mean you should pick a fight with your supervisor. However, just because someone is in a position of power, doesn’t mean they don’t get things wrong occasionally.

Being their ‘yes man’ may seem like a great way to endear yourself to the boss; however, you can sink with the ship if the boss gets it wrong. You’re better off forming your own opinion, even if that means having another viewpoint.

Listening to Gossip

First, gossip is not necessarily the truth. Therefore, listening to it can sway you from reality. Gossip can also be hurtful, if not to you than to someone else. The very definition of gossip — idle talk or rumor – defines it as a negative action. So your best course of action is to steer clear of the rumor mill.

Bucking the System

Remember that old saying, “You can’t fight city hall?” Well, you can. However, sometimes it’s just not a good idea. Over time, companies develop their own culture. Fighting against the company norm can be a little like a salmon fighting an upstream battle. It can become very tiring. Know which battles to fight and let the other ones fall by the wayside.

Expecting Everything to be Fair

As painful as it may be, there are times when work may not be fair — when someone else gets the promotion or the great work assignment or the word of gratitude you felt you deserved. Stressing over is a bit like picking at a scab. It won’t do any good and will take longer to heal. It’s better just to be happy for your co-worker and to move on.

Griping to Coworkers

It is absolutely okay to vent. However, do it with family and friends. If one coworker gripes to another who then gripes to another, it becomes a wall of dominos until everyone is griping. No wonder the work environment sucks. Everyone is too busy griping to enjoy the good.

There are so many ways to make your work life, well, if not happy, at least bearable. That’s why it is important to stop doing the things that make your work life unhappy and do the things that make work life happier.