WHEN you step into your office, you are supposed to leave everything else behind and put on a professional face.

Here are seven things that you need to avoid at the workplace. These will not only help you make a good impression, but will also assist you in advancing your career.

1. Extended breaks

One of the most annoying things for other employees or for managers and supervisors is employees taking extended breaks.

So what if you have a smoking habit and you need to take a break to indulge in it? What about those who do not smoke? They will not appreciate it if you take long breaks to smoke.

Also avoid taking extended lunch breaks. More often than not, people use their lunch hour to do personal work; but if you cannot finish a task within this hour, do it on your own time. Never extend your breaks.

2. Tardiness

Being late to work once in a while may be excused. But what is not tolerated is coming in late every day and leaving early. This is unfair to those people who come on time and leave on time. Do not misuse work hours, unless you have a genuine reason for doing so and one that can be excused.

3. Loud behaviour

People around you are trying to work. They do not need disturbances like loud talking or completely irrelevant discussions.

You are not only affecting their ability to work, you are not showing them respect.

4. Being untidy

You need to keep your workstation clean and also the other areas such as the cafeteria and conference rooms.

Would you like it if someone left used tissue or scraps of food on the table in the cafeteria you usually sit at? Extend the same courtesy to other people and clean up after yourself.

5. Personal issues

Everyone has family and commitments, but when you come to work, you need to leave those behind.

There are going to be times when an emergency arises, but those can be dealt with. If you have children or friends who need to contact you at work, try to keep this to a minimum.

Don't keep taking personal calls at work - it will look like you are not paying enough attention to your job.

6. Speaking your mind

You have heard the saying "think before you speak". You will have to bear the consequences of the things you say. So think before you speak at all times.

7. Do not be emotional

Do not express anger too vividly. This is true for younger employees who may have an ego issue. Do not let your emotions affect your career moves.