work habits

From how fast you respond to email to being the office grump, your work habits affect how people see you. Here’s advice on mastering the right habits.

should I have more of a sense of humor at work?

A reader writes: As a leader myself, I’ve been watching how other leaders interact with each other at my organization. They can joke around with each other, tease each other, and just generally interact with each other in that kind of lighthearted way. I’ve never been good at casually joking with people, but it’s gotten […]

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how do I say no to admin tasks that aren’t my job?

A reader writes: How do I decline taking on tasks outside of my immediate roles and responsibilities without coming off as insubordinate or not a team player? I work in a field where it’s pretty standard to take on some administrative burdens in addition to our core responsibilities. However, in my experience, these tasks seem […]

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how do I get less emotionally invested in my work?

I’m off today. This was originally published in 2017. A reader writes: I’m a programmer who is in my eighth month at my current job. I’m a woman in my late 20s and have never held a job for a full year before–while most of the jobs I’ve had have been internships or temp/contract jobs, I’ve […]

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can I read erotica on work breaks?

I’m off today. This was originally published in 2018. I have expanded it to slightly to include some of my additions from the comments on the original post, such as sample book titles. A reader writes: I came across the discussions of porn at work earlier, which got me questioning something I do. I tend […]

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how can I keep my temper at work?

A reader writes: I run experiments as a technician and there’s usually a lot going on, a lot to remember, and a lot to write down. Long lists of numbers and such. It’s a really nice place to work and I enjoy it. I’ve been known to be snappy in the lab. I can’t really […]

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what does self-care look like at work?

A reader writes: I’ve been working through some significant program transitions and expansion as a manager at a basic needs nonprofit. The need, as you certainly know, continues to grow, and we’re feeling it exponentially. My boss asked me what my strategies for caring for myself at work were, and I realized that I don’t […]

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is sitting on a couch for video calls unprofessional?

A reader writes: I have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic, and love working from my couch. I have always done all my meetings and other virtual calls from the couch as well, and no one has ever mentioned it as a problem. But I am about to start freelancing, and I’m […]

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my manager says my shyness is seen as rudeness

A reader writes: I received an email today from my manager that I am feeling a bit upset about. Here is the situation. My boss came over to the cubicle farm and was talking to a couple coworkers when it came time for me to leave for an errand. We have glass panes on our […]

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