12 Bad Tech-Related Habits In The Workplace (And Why They Matter)

Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council | Forbes

Successful CIOs, CTOs & executives from Forbes Technology Council offer firsthand insights on tech & business.

Technology plays such a large role in business operations that most employees work with it in some form on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for employees to be careless with tech or develop bad habits; often failures or breakdowns blamed broadly on “tech” are actually preceded by human error.

Whether poor tech habits in the workplace lead simply to annoyance or to serious security breaches, if they can be nipped in the bud, they should be. To give you an idea of the bad practices tech team leaders should be aware of—and other employees should stop—we asked 12 members of Forbes Technology Council to discuss a bad tech-related habit they would break their company’s employees of, if they had the power.

1. Using Gadgets During Meetings

I always encourage my team to attend meetings with a notepad instead of laptops or phones. This helps them focus on the key objectives and results in short but productive meetings. Gadgets are often distracting to the presenter as well as the attendees and often result in long meetings because of content repetition, since getting everyone on the same page is tough if people are distracted. – Amit OjhaDiamond Foundry

2. Too Much Personal Screen Time

More employees are becoming distracted by personal screen time, and this needs to be addressed before it really impacts productivity levels. More standards and tracking need to be used to ensure that this screen time is only on breaks. – Chalmers BrownDue

3. Habitually Checking Work-Related Social Media

One of the most basic but powerful tweaks to improve productivity is to detach from your phone and get intentional about social media activities. I encourage my team to block one specific time per day to handle these tasks. Social media automation tools like Buffer and MeetEdgar are a great aid in eliminating the distractions of social media. – Mike PfeifferCloudSkills.io

4. Installing Untested Devices And Apps

My employees are tech geeks, so they love the latest and greatest gadgets. And while it’s mostly been prevented, I’d love to ensure no one ever installs a new device, tool or app until it is fully tested by our company. It takes only one rogue piece of tech to compromise the security of our network or our data. – Anne BisagnoXantrion

5. Over-Slacking Big Groups

With the convenience of being able to chat with anyone at our organization via Slack, it’s often become the default choice to reach someone for issues, whether urgent or not. That said, often times the disruption is expensive, and team members don’t realize that. In our organization, we estimate that massive Slack messages cost us $3,000 a pop. I’d love for everyone in our company to know this. – David Isaac MurrayDoctor.com

6. Bad Inbox Hygiene

Since inboxes are basically a to-do list, they should be managed more effectively. Every modern email client supports rules, but too few people use them. An uncluttered inbox is an uncluttered mind! – Chris MoustakasDevonWay

7. Data Manipulation

One bad technology habit I would break employees of is not logging data correctly or avoiding data logging entirely out of fear of certain information reflecting badly on them. Without correct data it is impossible to see potential problems and know how to fix them. Breaking them of this habit would require clear communication of what to expect in the event that the information indeed shows error. – Arnie GordonArlyn Scales

8. Being Plugged In While On Vacation

Our company values vacation as a time to spend with loved ones and truly unplug from work, which is why we close for a week during the holidays. We’re all guilty of checking email during vacation, but if we could truly unplug then our team would come back from vacation more refreshed and focused. Take time to be truly unplugged from work in order to do better work when vacation is over. – Marcus TurnerEnola Labs

9. Answering Emails As Soon As They Arrive

While it’s good to stay on top of things, it can be so disruptive to keep stopping and answering emails or texts. We don’t have to be instantaneous. Instead, we should batch those types of tasks unless there is something urgent to address. Productivity is so much higher when we wait to answer these messages. – Jon BradshawCalendar

10. Clicking On Every Link

Employees need to stop clicking on every link in every email, whether they were expecting it or not. Antimalware and antivirus technology are staples of any cybersecurity regimen, but prevention starts with the individual at the keyboard. – Adam SternInfinitely Virtual

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