10 Unethical Practices By Employees That Harm A Company In The Long Run

People in general harbour a number of grudges against their employers. Most conversations are peppered with office gossip, laments against your boss, awful colleagues or a general hatred towards the employers.

However, more often than not, the employees themselves are not exactly a picture of everything that’s right, bright and ethical. There are many ways employers are also wronged by the employees, than just vice versa.


Here’s a list of some of the most common ways employees screw around with their employers.

1.  Leaking secret company information

Every company is built on certain processes, technology,  and its own “secret sauce” that gives it the competitive advantage over the others. It’s not only an employee’s legal expectation, but also a moral responsibility to deal with sensitive company information with utmost sanctity. However cases where employees have externally revealed inside information are not uncommon.

2. Using the company internet for downloads

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Companies, especially tech enjoy big corporate internet plans and hence good speeds. While some of the bigger companies have measures in place to prevent and block any unapproved or unauthorised usage of the internet, a lot of the smaller ones don’t. Employees take advantage of this, and download peer-to-peer torrents and stream heavy amounts of data on the office internet., not only costing the company, but also slowing down the speed and exposing the company systems to security threats.

3. Inviting friends and families for visits a little more than right


A lot of global MNCs like Google and Facebook have an open door policy and friends and families of employees are not only welcome to visit, but also let in on the food and other facilities in the campus. While it’s encouraged to invite your family for an introduction to where you work, once in a while, doing it too much, and treating the office campus as a free restaurant or entertainment zone is stepping over the line.

4. Pilfering food and supplies from the office for personal use

These days, a lot of global companies and even startups come with fully stocked pantries and kitchens. They’re meant to keep the employee full and satisfied during work hours, so that work is smooth and employee is happy.  However, some employees tend to treat this as an invitation to generously help themselves to company bounty for after-hours consumption or even gifts to friends and family.

5. Misusing company funds on trips

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Everyone loves a work trip for it comes with traveling, and traveling how. Most company trips include a generous per-dieum or daily allowance for expenses and food. However, opportunistic employees are known to treat work trips as company-sponsored vacations and going over the allowed budgets or manipulating receipts to get compensated non-expensible items are rampant.

6. Taking too many leaves

Everyone loves a day off every now and then, however we’re expected to work because the company needs us and pays for our time. While a certain number of leaves are allowed, even encouraged in a year, a lot of people tend to go way above this number and go AWOL especially when the manager is remote or nonchalant.

7. Constantly looking for a job

There’s nothing wrong with looking for a change or wanting a better deal, however it is an ethical problem when an employee is forever looking for the change. The company bears a lot of costs on recruiting a candidate. By needing to fulfill a position too many times, not only does the company lose a lot of money in the process but important work gets disrupted. Instead of forever looking for a different job, how about try to make this one better or figure out what you really want to do?

8. Bitching about the company

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Leaking sensitive information is one thing, but knowingly bad mouthing your boss or company in public amounts to slander. While you may have personal reasons or grudges to bitch about the company, your words may totally be taken out of context and paint a negative image of the company, causing a PR disaster and even loss of business. Being responsible about what you say about the company and being objective in your opinion is a responsible, matured thing to do.

9. Resorting to protest/violence


As an employee you have certain rights, and for sure, you need to stand up for those. When things become bitter, or your demands are not met, things can get a bit tricky. However, matters can surely be solved with communication and as a last resort legal recourse. Resorting to public protests, or even vandalism as was experienced by startup Roadrunnr recently, are not the ways to go about having your way.

10. Not working

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And of course the biggest screw-you to any company is its employees just not doing their work in the required capacity or none at all. While performance ratings exist in most companies for tracking and communicating your performance and taking action accordingly, rogue employees find their ways around coming across as absolute bums.  They make excuses for not working, play the blame game, manipulate the actual work done, or simply adopt the “chill till fired approach”. This hurts the company with its responsibilities and its businesses.

While you may think the action of one employee don’t make a dent to a big company, in principle, more employees thinking the same can break the company. It’s good to be a good employee as a good employee, and the rewards are worth it.