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15 Good Work Habits That Will Make You Stand Out

Start your work day off on the right foot by incorporating good habits into your routine!

By Mara Calvello  •   November 1, 2021  •   7 min read

There are many things you can do to ensure you start your day off on the right foot.

Whether it’s getting a full eight hours of sleep, pouring yourself an extra-large cup of coffee, or going for a jog to get some endorphins flowing.

But what about once you roll up your sleeves and get to work? You spend a lot of time at work, and if you’re looking to have a successful career, there are certain habits you can put forth day in and day out that can make you stand out as an exceptional employee and a team player.

15 Good work habits that will make you stand out

Developing good work habits is easy when you know where to start. And while not all of these 15 habits will be right for you, see which ones you can apply to your work routine to start making a better impact and move your career development in the right direction.

1 Be punctual

First things first, are you the coworker who constantly shows up to work late, blames it on “traffic”, or logs into virtual meetings five minutes late every time. It goes without saying that it’s essential to be punctual. In addition to arriving at work or showing up to meetings, being punctual is also about meeting deadlines and submitting important tasks. 

If you think no one is noticing, think again. Your team members, and especially your manager, will see if you’re always strolling into work late. Doing so conveys that you don’t care about your role at work or take things seriously.

Some things you can do to ensure you’re on time are:

  • Set your alarm the night before so you don’t sleep in
  • Lay out your clothing for work ahead of time, so you don’t spend time in the morning debating outfit choices
  • Leave your house earlier to avoid traffic or take an earlier train to avoid delays

As my high school marching band teacher used to say, “Five minutes early is on time, to be on time is to be late.”

2 Don’t gossip

We’ve all seen the group of employees who whisper around the watercooler, in the bathroom, or the hallway. They’re likely speaking in hushed voices because they’re gossiping about a team member. It’s crucial to develop the habit of steering clear of these people – and gossip as a whole.

You never want to contribute to conversations that lean gossipy or are heavy on drama. And, if a coworker tries to lure you as they talk about someone’s back, remain neutral or exit the conversation altogether.  

Kindness goes a long way, and those who gossip or bring others down often don’t climb the corporate ladder.

3 Organize great meetings

Another habit to develop is being the go-to person for organizing great meetings. We’ve all attended meetings that could have been an email, so be the person that makes sure this never happens.

Make sure that all of the meetings you organize have a comprehensive meeting agenda, pertinent documents attached ahead of time, and meeting roles clearly defined. Plus, make sure they always start on time, they never go over, and the conversation stays productive and on-task.

Unsure how to get started with this habit? Utilize a meeting software option that has everything you need, like Fellow.

Pro tip

Use a meeting management tool like Fellow to get into the habit of creating meeting agendas, taking detailed notes, and asking for feedback.

4 Create new team processes

If something on your team isn’t working, don’t be the employee who sits back, complains, and doesn’t do anything to make improvements. Instead, be the one who takes charge and creates a new team process or strategy.

For example, if a team meeting your department holds is starting to feel a little lackluster, unproductive, and just plain boring, bring this up to your manager or the meeting facilitator. But, go one step further by bringing solutions to the conversation. 

Be the person to present suggestions or new ideas that you believe will improve how your team does things.

5 Share feedback with others

Another work habit to start incorporating into your routine is sharing feedback with others. If you think a team member has gone above and beyond — let them know you’ve noticed. You can also let others know where or how they can improve.

Consider making the most of workplace culture and utilizing a tool like Fellow to give and get feedback as work happens. 

6 Be dependable 

One of the most important work habits you can adopt is to be dependable. This means being the coworker that others can count on. Whether this means never missing a deadline, being available to lend a helping hand, or volunteering to contribute to projects, it’s all about being the person your team knows they can turn to in all kinds of situations. 

7 Leave personal problems at the door

It can be challenging to have a clearly defined line between work and personal life, especially if your work friends are your friends outside of work, too. Try to limit how much you talk about personal problems, as doing so can influence how your team, or even your manager, believes you’re able to do your job. 

8 Be organized 

It can be challenging to be a top performer if you’re not organized. You’ll find yourself missing items on your to-do list, missing deadlines, and missing opportunities to grow your skillset. Take the time to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

9 Avoid distractions

If you’re able to limit the distractions you have at work or avoid them altogether, you’re likely to be more focused on your daily tasks and give yourself a higher likelihood of hitting your goals. Determine which things are taking away your focus and keeping you from working at your highest capacity. 

Distractions can be anything like:

  •  Scrolling through social media
  • Frequently taking personal calls in the middle of the day
  • Perusing the internet and consistently reading top stories
  • Taking frequent breaks or longer-than-average lunch breaks

10 Don’t pretend you know-it-all

No one likes a know-it-all. Better yet, people do like it when people admit there’s something they don’t know.

If someone asks you a question, and you truly don’t know the answer, be honest about it instead of giving misinformation. Follow it up with “but I’ll find out” so you don’t leave the person with the question hanging.

11 Develop your strengths

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their career, but a person with good working habits can pinpoint their strengths and make them even stronger. Once you identify your strengths, do your best to seek out roles or projects that often let you utilize those skills. You can take it one step further by researching or paying attention to how others with similar strengths use them to achieve success.

12 Find a way to manage stress

Everyone manages stress differently, so what works for you may not work for others. Whether it’s keeping a journal, listening to your favorite playlist, or exercising regularly, make sure to create a habit of managing stress in a healthy way that allows you to not feel burnout by deadlines, your to-do list, or your manager.

13 Spread positivity

Being a positive person and speaking positively of others makes it easier for you to maintain healthy and working relationships with your team members. When you’re paired up in groups or working to accomplish a task as a department, having this attitude will make it easier to collaborate and get along with one another as you work to achieve a goal. 

14 Take feedback with a growth mindset

Taking feedback or listening to constructive criticism isn’t always easy to do. But those who work on this habit are more likely to grow as an employee, and better see ways that they can do things differently when you actively listen to this feedback. 

For instance, if your manager is coming to you with ways you can improve in a performance review, you can identify what you can work on in the future to be more successful in your current role. 

15 Volunteer to solve problems

Supervisors, c-suite executives, and coworkers all appreciate having a team member who is ready and willing to solve problems or work to overcome challenges in the workplace. No one likes an employee who is always complaining, so make an effort to develop a habit of solving issues when they arise. When you do this, you’re able to help your team, and the entire company, succeed by showing that you care about the work you do and the company you work for.

Good work habits aren’t built overnight

 But when you put in the time and effort to strive for these 15 important work habits, you are likely to receive positive feedback from your supervisor and other coworkers you encounter daily. An employee with these habits doesn’t go unnoticed, so see which of these habits you can weave into your daily routine no matter what industry you’re in. 

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