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What constitutes “unprofessionalism” in the office?

Unprofessional behavior, as I define it, is conduct that demonstrates a lack of respect for your employer, and for your role as a representative of that organization. Some examples include: 

1. Dressing like the office is a pick-up bar. Too much of a good thing is still too much - too much clevage, too tight clothing, too short skirts, etc.

2. Playing “angry birds” on your iPhone, or otherwise zoning out, when your attention and contributions are expected during meetings and on calls.

3. Talking politics or religion.

4. Carrying on an office romance with lots of PDA, and a lack of discretion.

5. Gossiping and creating drama.

6.  Thinking that the rules apply to everyone but you (because you are doing such great work....). 

As a general rule, I caution clients that while at work, we have colleagues, not friends. It is a big mistake to start telling your co-workers all the sordid details of your personal life and sharing your angst with them as though they are your personal therapists. Keep the personal separate from the professional until you are very, very sure that it is safe to share personal information, and then do so only with a select few individuals that you have known for years. If you have personal problems, go through the Employee Assistance Program and get confidential, professional counseling assistance – and keep your demeanor professional when you are at work.

Robin Bond