10 Old Work Habits to Kick in 2024

10 Old Work Habits to Kick in 2024

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New year, new you, right? Except that New Year’s resolutions are a lot easier said than done. It’s one thing to reassess the last year and another thing entirely to implement changes this year. That’s largely why only nine percent of people who make resolutions actually keep them.

In fact, while 77 percent of people said they’d keep themselves accountable last year, only 20 percent said the same this time around. In other words, Resolutions are hard, and they seem to be getting harder.

We say: Step by step. And the first step is acknowledging the workplace habits you’d like to leave behind in 2023. After all, in order to adapt to the ever-evolving workplace and make space for creating change, you need to know what it is that you’d like to do differently. 

Here are some common workplace habits you could (and should) kick in 2024 to set the stage for a more productive and successful year ahead.

While they may not all immediately resonate with you, it’s worth taking a long, hard look in the mirror anyway – the start of the new year is as good a time as ever!


1️⃣ Micromanaging

In the past, you may not have considered yourself a micromanager but rather someone who made regular check-ins to ensure that tasks were completed as expected. However, in 2024, establishing more trust and autonomy is crucial for fostering a positive work environment.

Take a look at how (and how often) you check in with your direct reports and identify areas for making workflow more efficient with minimal need for constant oversight. Allow your team the freedom to take ownership of their projects and watch how creativity and innovation naturally flourish.


2️⃣ Working A Strict Schedule

While you might choose to work traditional hours, like 9-to-5, those hours may not be the prime productivity hours for everyone – especially if you work in a global team across time zones. 

With the advent of remote work and flexible schedules, the traditional 9-to-5 workday is becoming obsolete. This year, it may be time to embrace a more flexible approach that values output over which hours were logged. This shift could promote a healthier work-life balance and allow employees to optimize their productivity during their most effective hours.


3️⃣ Over-Relying On Email

While email still remains a vital communication tool, it may be the year to explore alternative, more efficient communication platforms. People are inundated with emails, and they may miss important ones or take their time to respond.

Collaborative tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other project management systems can streamline communication, improve teamwork, and reduce the clutter in your inbox. It’s a win-win for everyone.


4️⃣ Isolating

We’re talking about isolation in two ways: department silos and within team dynamics. Break down the barriers between siloed departments by fostering cross-functional collaboration. Encouraging open communication channels between different teams promotes innovation and a holistic understanding of the organization’s goals.

Likewise, take the time to connect with your direct reports and colleagues in your own department more often. Annual performance reviews are not enough and may be ineffective in providing timely and constructive feedback. Shift towards continuous check-ins with regular, real-time assessments that allow for quicker course correction, personal development, and more overall engagement.


5️⃣ Not Taking Mental Health Seriously

Your mind may not have always been top of mind. But it should be. This year, acknowledge the importance of mental health in the workplace. Encourage open discussions, provide resources, and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Prioritizing employee well-being leads to increased job satisfaction, higher productivity, and reduced burnout – and one surefire way to do it is by leading by example.


6️⃣ Being Afraid To Fail

If you identify as a perfectionist, maybe it’s the year to take more risks that may not result in “perfect.” Cultivate a workplace culture that embraces failure as a stepping stone to success.

Encouraging risk-taking and innovation – knowing that setbacks are opportunities to learn – helps foster a fear-free environment where creativity and resilience can grow.


7️⃣ Have Excessive Meetings

Did you spend a lot of time last year in meetings that could have been emails? Or, moreover, Slack messages? Reevaluate the necessity of your meetings this year. Whether you’re the one scheduling them or you’re on the receiving end, start setting better boundaries.

Opt for more concise, purposeful gatherings and explore alternative communication methods, like asynchronous collaboration. This can help you in reclaiming valuable time for focused, uninterrupted work.


8️⃣ Resisting Technology

Technology is changing the workforce as we know it. Every industry is affected by the advancements in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning—for better or worse. While technology may take over some jobs and will certainly take over some tasks, successful companies are the ones who are working with tech, not against it.

Finding ways to embrace technological advancements can help you stay competitive. After all, technology can automate repetitive tasks, boost efficiency, and enhance overall productivity. And you can get creative in how you use emerging technologies, leveraging team members’ unique skill sets for human oversight. Just note that embracing it all may require investing in training programs to ensure that your team is well-versed in the latest tools and technologies. 


9️⃣ Forgoing Your PTO

Not making use of your paid time off is a habit you definitely don’t want to take into the new year. PTO is there for a reason – it allows for recharging time, which can help you stay productive throughout the year. Endless research purports that PTO plays a pivotal role in employees’ well-being and, ultimately, success.

Even if you can’t afford to take a vacation somewhere, allocating time for a staycation is just as important. Taking the time to turn off can help you come back to work revived and ready for new challenges.


🔟 Not Making Use Of Your Benefits

Similarly, leaving benefits unused – like wellness programs and retirement contributions – is like leaving money on the table. Failing to take advantage of benefits not only deprives you of opportunities for personal and professional development but also results in a missed chance to maximize your overall compensation package.

Making use of various benefits can enhance your job satisfaction, increase your financial security, and foster a happier, healthier year ahead. For example, you may be able to save thousands on health insurance by enrolling in your company’s plan or save double what you could on your own for retirement if your company has a 401(K) matching program.

AnnaMarie Houlis
About the Author
AnnaMarie Houlis

AnnaMarie Houlis is a nomadic journalist, an audacious activist and an adventure aficionado. She covers everything from equity and inclusion in the workplace and career development to health, women’s empowerment and travel. You can read her work on her portfolio, AnnaMarieHoulis.com.

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