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Bad habits persist in the office, too

Implementation intentions + self-monitoring daily for 2 months can help


There are three sorts of bad habits associated with the working place but only the task- oriented ones can be tackled within short terms effectively. Much more persistent, though, are those bad habits which we practice also privately and those that influence interaction with co-workers, superiors or members of your team. It is simply easier to give up checking any single new email in your account than dispense chocolate or potato chips in between or to say cristal clearly NO when you are filled up with much too much work again.
These are the most important conclusions drawn by a new German study which points out where, how and why we can leave behind some of these behaviors with more or less difficulty. According to the scientists of Mannheim and Trier we may identify triggers for task-oriented bad habits and consequently the lever to push quite easily: concrete to dos, constant self-monitoring daily from dawn till dusk over a period of 2 months do a lot towards improvement. For all other bad habits taking place at your desk, in your office, tipps & tricks alone are actually not sufficient.

Sonnentag/Wehrt/Weyers/Law, „Conquering Unwanted Habits at the Workplace: Day-Level Processes and Longer Term Change in Habit Strength”, in: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2022, Vol. 107, Nr. 5, 831 – 853.

From the practice:
I´d like to confirm: a) the more we indulge a bad habit outside of our working place, too, the more only coaching and psychotherapy can bring some results for the better. b) The more we don´t behave properly when dealing with colleagues etc. the more complex the case and the longer we have to reflect in the respective session.
Furthermore: sometimes getting off bad habits produces social disadvantages. One who cannot say No when getting project after project saddled with earns pretty often a reputation as hard-working, cooperative and durable. And what sort of human being wants to jeopardize this image voluntarily?
Still: it starts here and goes now for the real thing – when we discuss that finally each habit is bad if others have more benefits than one self.


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