Discover what you are naturally good at

30 Good Work Habits That Shout Career Growth & Success

Author: Emma Williams
Author: Emma Williams

Chief Research Officer at HIGH5

Table of Contents
Stop guessing your natural talents. Find out your strengths now.

Are you ready to acquire new habits for a successful career? What strong preferences are you prepared to Are you ready to unlock your full potential and cultivate habits that propel you towards a truly successful career? By understanding and leveraging your unique strengths, you can develop positive work habits that align with your natural inclinations, making the journey towards excellence more seamless and rewarding. The HIGH5 strengths assessment provides invaluable insights into your inherent talents, empowering you to impose strong preferences that resonate with your authentic self. If these habits truly matter to you, embracing a strengths-based approach through HIGH5 can make the process of learning and integrating them into your daily routine more effortless and sustainable.

How you present yourself and conduct yourself at work has a significant impact on your performance as well as the performance of everyone with whom you interact.

But most importantly, it has a significant impact on your professional reputation.

These basic work habits may appear to be matters of personal style or preference, but there are compelling reasons why they are useful for the workplace.

In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why you should be interested in learning best practices and developing better workplace habits.

We’ll also provide examples of 30 good work habits and provide tips for evaluating your work habits.

What are Work Habits & Why They Are Important For Career Development

By understanding and leveraging your unique strengths, you can cultivate a strong foundation of healthy work habits that contribute to job performance requirements and meet company guidelines. The HIGH5 strengths assessment provides valuable insights into your inherent talents and inclinations, empowering you to develop habits that align with your natural strengths. This personalized approach fosters a culture of efficiency, productivity, dependability, and collaboration, as you focus on accentuating your strengths rather than overcoming weaknesses.

Cooperation, effective communication, policy compliance, organization, punctuality, regular attendance, and time management are all examples of basic work habits.

Employees who practice strong work habits might expand their typical job responsibilities and tasks by aiding their coworkers in a support role to increase corporate efficiency and production (profitability).

Other employers admire employees who develop and display exceptional workplace habits on a consistent basis and should reward them with promotions to honor their service.

For many people, maintaining old-fashioned good work habits is critical to securing a job and earning a positive reputation among employers and coworkers.

Following good work habits inconsistently makes you appear younger and less mature. And according to Forbes, your inconsistency is more noticeable than you might think.

It makes some managers reconsider trusting you with critical tasks. If you want to be taken seriously at work, the best thing you can do is take an essential practice and develop healthy work habits.

People will regard you as more professional. That will be very beneficial to you anywhere else you work.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Identify your top strengths using the HIGH5 assessment, and reflect on how you can apply them to develop positive work habits. For example, if one of your strengths is discipline, you could leverage it to establish a consistent routine and improve time management.

30 Good Work Habits for a Successful Career

We have compiled a list of the 30 most important skills that will help you have a fruitful and enjoyable career journey. Through consistent practice, everything can be achieved.

It does take longer for a new healthy habit to take hold. But keep in mind that humans are more than just creatures of habit.

We are the product of our habits. And whether you will be the product of good or bad habits is entirely up to you.

1. ​Take Criticism Well

Studies show that criticism generates creativity. And besides, nobody’s criticizing your work because they dislike you. On the contrary, if your boss is criticizing you, they may be attempting to assist you in your success.

So, you should consider taking criticism in order to develop better work habits and grow professionally.

2. ​Don’t Gossip

Gossiping at the workplace is considered unprofessional. That’s why you should avoid gossip and stay impartial if a coworker tries to drag you into it or talks behind another colleague’s back.

Some of the negative implications of workplace gossip include a loss of trust from the managers. Moreover, gossiping often results in reduced productivity as a result of wasted time.

3. Be a Problem Solver, Not a Complainer

Problems are a part of every workplace’s daily reality. That is true regardless of where you work or who your coworkers are. Most of the time, you’re dealing with issues that someone else initiated.

Therefore, it’s better to be a problem solver instead of a complainer at the workplace.

4. Be Dependable

Dependability is a personal trait that makes you appear trustworthy and reliable to your coworkers. Being dependable means that you will do what you promised, you won’t miss deadlines, and meet others’ expectations.

5. Put Your Phone Away While at Work

Text messages and notifications on your phone can be a major distraction while you’re working. Only check your phone during breaks.

6. Dress appropriately

Dressing professionally allows you to offer others a positive, professional image of your organization. Even if you dress casually or wear a uniform, making sure you look nice and put together will help you get a better welcome.

7. Use technology to organize better

Old-fashioned planners and notebooks are going out of style. With all of the productivity apps and online calendars available, traditional planners and notebooks are becoming obsolete.

Due to advances in technology, workers may now save all of their paperwork, to-do lists, calendars, and deadlines on their laptops and smartphones.

8. Seek and Provide Assistance

Nobody, no matter how talented, can accomplish it all by themselves. Don’t be scared to seek help if you need it.

Recognize that others may need assistance as well but may be hesitant to ask, so lend a helping hand when you can.

9. Go Above and Beyond the Usual

Doing more work than you’re asked to will help you get promoted faster than you thought. Try to share all your creative ideas and be innovative.

As a businessman, Gary Ryan Blair says, “Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.”

However, maintain a work-life balance in order to avoid being taken advantage of at work.

10. Keep Personal Problems Out of the Workplace

Don’t go into too much detail about your personal concerns.

What you tell your coworkers may influence their view of your abilities to accomplish your job (as well as your boss’s), and it may make you the target of office gossip.

11. Look at Problems as Opportunities, Not Challenges

Problems can provide possibilities rather than hold you back and cause tension and concern. Problems exist at the mental level as well.

As a result, we can either allow an issue to overwhelm us or, in the case of successful people, turn it into a chance to gain something.

12. Stop ​Procrastinating

Studies show that procrastination worsens your overall performance at work and reduces your psychological well-being.

Putting off performing your task, even if it is a project you despise, will not make it go away. You might as well get it out of the way.

13. Be initiative

Try to be a self-starter at work. Being initiative will help you demonstrate your responsibility and make your managers value your work.

Taking constructive activity in the absence of unambiguous instruction. Going the additional mile; going above and beyond.

14. Smile More

Smiling makes you feel better and makes others feel better as well. Of course, don’t grin when it’s improper, such as when something horrible occurs.

However, a polite smile to your coworkers is a respectful gesture and says a lot about your attitude towards the workplace.

15. Be ​Organized

Being organized makes it easier to focus on duties, allowing you to be more effective at work.

Organizations can boost employee job performance and assist in good project cooperation.

16. Don’t Forget That Work Is Work

While it is crucial to enjoy your work, you will be sorely disappointed if you expect it to be fun all the time.

There will be things you must do that will not be glamorous, but as they say, “That’s why they’re paying you huge amounts.”

17. Ask for help

Request assistance from your teammates or management if you need help with a job or understanding a project.

It’s alright to admit that you’re aware that you could do better with your own talents or work procedures in order to advance your career.

18. Admit to mistakes

It’s critical to recognize that everyone makes errors, even at work, and that confessing your own may have a long-term influence on the individuals with whom you collaborate.

You can apologize to those who were harmed by your error and devise solutions to correct the present error and prevent it from happening again.

19. Challenge yourself

Investigate methods to push oneself at work. You may discover or develop new talents, or you may stand out to your coworkers and bosses as someone who wants to continue to grow in their position.

Ask your manager if you can take the lead on specific initiatives to boost your confidence in your abilities.

20. Keep track of your accomplishments

It might be tough for your boss to keep track of everyone’s assignments and successes, especially if they have multiple employees reporting to them.

21. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “I Don’t Know”

Although you may wish to assist everyone who approaches you with a question, it is crucial to declare when you don’t know the answer rather than assume and perhaps misinform them.

If you find yourself in this circumstance, explain that you don’t know the solution and offer to look it up for them, then follow up as soon as you can.

22. Stick to Deadlines

Meeting deadlines is a must in the modern fast-paced organizational world. Surprisingly, working under deadlines is accompanied by plenty of advantages.

As a result of sticking to deadlines, you’ll demonstrate your professionalism, avoid any project-related stress, and acquire the respect of your coworkers and leadership team.

23. Pay attention to detail

Your work should improve if you pay attention to detail. You could even discover that your achievements make you happy at work.

24. Listen Actively

Make simple practices at work to actively listen to coworkers, bosses, vendors, consumers, and clients. This act will assist you in expanding your commercial ties, establishing trust, and better-understanding people.

25. Learn New Skills

Consider being proactive in acquiring new skills relating to your present work or what you ultimately want to achieve in your career.

Speak with your colleagues in the roles you’re interested in to see what skills they utilize the most in their employment to determine what abilities are most advantageous for you to learn.

26. Admit when you don’t know the answer

If you find yourself in a situation, explain that you don’t know the solution and offer to look it up for them, then follow up as soon as you can.

27. Get Ready for Your Day

Arrive at work early and prepare for the day by thinking about what you’ll have to accomplish when you’re there.

Last-minute alterations should not frighten you. You may need to change your plans.

28. Never Say “It’s Not My Job”

Be prepared to help as required. It may entail performing something that isn’t part of your job description, but you’ll show that you’re adaptable.

29. Put All Your Effort

If you want to give your best effort, make it a practice to check your work for faults before submitting it.

This might entail proofreading or having someone else go through your project to ensure you didn’t leave anything out.

30. Make Sure You Understand Company Policies

If you don’t know what they are, seek information from someone who does, such as the human resources department.

If you ask a coworker instead, they may give you the incorrect answer, and you will be held accountable.

Work Habits Checklist

While understanding the importance of positive work habits is valuable, truly integrating them into your daily routine requires a structured approach. In addition to utilizing a habit-tracking worksheet, consider taking the HIGH5 strengths assessment to gain insights into your natural talents and inclinations. By aligning your habit development efforts with your inherent strengths, you can more effectively convert desired practices into sustainable routines that become an integral part of your life.

We must commit ample time during the day to these simple, personal practices in order to achieve this.

In order to be able to better grasp the psychology of habits and find out how to develop good work habits, you can use a worksheet about habit formation.

The worksheet will allow you to identify your habits, break your negative habits, and turn them into positive ones.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

After identifying your top strengths through the HIGH5 assessment, review the list of desired work habits and prioritize those that align most closely with your strengths. Focus on consistently practicing those habits first, as they will likely require less conscious effort due to their alignment with your natural tendencies.

Good Work Habits Vs Bad Work Habits

While negative work habits can easily take root, particularly in challenging circumstances, identifying and leveraging your inherent strengths can empower you to modify these counterproductive patterns. The HIGH5 strengths assessment provides valuable insights into your natural talents and inclinations, enabling you to replace bad habits with positive ones that align with your strengths. By focusing on habit development through the lens of your unique strengths, you can cultivate a more productive and fulfilling work experience.

Here are some bad habits at work and how to break them so you can have a productive day at work and start developing new habits that will help you.

  • Overworking with no breaks, for example, or taking too many breaks. The fallacy is that skipping breaks allows you to work more productively. Taking too many pauses might prevent you from being productive.
  • Snacking every hour, checking your phone, or just not working for an extended period of time might lead you to lose focus and push back deadlines.

The solution is to combat taking too many breaks by simply limiting the number of breaks you take. This may appear difficult, but give yourself incentives to work longer.

However, make sure you’re taking breaks since it’s necessary to get out of work mode from time to time.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Reflect on the bad habits you wish to change and consider how your top strengths from the HIGH5 assessment could help you overcome them. For example, if procrastination is a challenge, and one of your strengths is discipline, you could leverage that strength to establish a structured routine and improve time management.

How to Evaluate Work Habits I Already Have?

You may have many poor habits, but having bad habits does not make you a horrible person. Positive habits can help you enhance your workday in the long run.

Take constructive criticism into account, because it is never too late to implement new working practices.

The best place to start is by assessing your current work habits. Keep track of what you do on a daily basis as part of your job. Examine the rituals you perform and make a list of them.

Is it true that they all serve a purpose? Are they bothering you? Do you fear having to deal with them? Finally, is it possible to improve on any of these rituals?

Work Habits I Need to Improve/Work More on

After you’ve gotten rid of the negative habits or made a list of the ones that need to be changed, you may work on developing new ones.

Reread the list above, and if any of them do not work for you, make an effort to work with them.

Good Working Habits FAQ

What are examples of good working habits?

There are a plethora of workplace habits that can help you succeed. Coming to work on time each day is one habit that shows you are committed and organized.

Respecting others’ opinions and completing your work on time also adds to your positive image. Additional positive work habits include: asking genuine questions, planning your day, avoiding distractions, being kind to others, communicating tasks effectively, and so on.

What are the 8 good working habits?

There are a plethora of working habits that could positively impact you at work. If you do not know which to focus on, consider the following 8 good working habits that could help you succeed: coming to work on time and using professional language, respecting project deadlines, constantly seeking out new information and improving yourself, anticipating the needs of others, taking action when you have an idea, asking questions, admitting your mistakes, and using open and honest communication.

What are productive work habits?

Productive work habits are the activities that help you stay focused and avoid distractions at work. One example of a productive work habit could be planning your day ahead of time. This ensures you are clear on which tasks you must perform and when.

Eliminating distractions is another productive work habit. You can eliminate distractions by changing your work environment, such as by switching where you work or blocking unproductive websites.

Case Studies, Academic, and Research-Based Sources:

  1. Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). “How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world.” European Journal of Social Psychology.
  2. Duhigg, C. (2012). “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.” Random House.
  3. Gardner, B., Aunger, R., & Curtis, V. (2012). “The brain and behavioral determinants of handwashing.” The Lancet.
  4. Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2007). “A new look at habits and the habit-goal interface.” Psychological Review.
  5. Case Study: “Implementing Effective Work Habits in a Corporate Setting.” Harvard Business Review.
  6. Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2010). “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.” Crown Business.
Author: Emma Williams - Chief Research Officer at HIGH5
Author: Emma Williams - Chief Research Officer at HIGH5

Emma is a certified strengths and career coach with more than 25 years of international experience in helping individuals and organizations achieve success by nailing and maximizing their unique value propositions. She is an entrepreneur, proud mother and a C-level executive at HIGH5TEST, where she leads its coaching and research programs.

Join +3 million people from leading companies in discovering what they are naturally great at