iMedia's Best Content of 2014. You're seeing this article on our homepage again because it's part of iMedia's year-end best content roundup. We will return to our regular publishing schedule of original content on Jan. 5.
Asking for your employee's age
A lot of workplaces get comfortable enough to the point where your employees might feel like good friends. However, don't let your relationship get too comfortable. It's your job as a supervisor to keep things professional and not ask questions that violate labor laws. HR does not look the other way on this one.
OK, so not all of us tweet horrible things like this on a daily basis, but one tweet is enough to get you canned. Just ask Justine Sacco, former PR executive at InterActive Corp. She tweeted this right before a trip to South Africa, and while she was in the air, the internet exploded with anger. When in doubt, just ask yourself, "What would Justine tweet?" Then tweet the opposite.
Texting during meetings
Here's something everyone does that you may not think gets noticed. Yes, your phone is addictive, but pulling it out during a time when you should be focused is inappropriate and disrespectful. If you want to avoid the chopping block during the next round of layoffs, don't be the guy who's remembered as a chronic texter.
Surfing inappropriate websites
Not everyone surfs porn at work (thankfully), but many employees are guilty of visiting non-work websites on a daily basis. In fact, a Salary.com survey revealed that 64 percent of employees visit websites that don't correlate to their job on a daily basis. The main culprits? Facebook and LinkedIn.
Lying about why you need time off
Managers and HR are usually pretty understanding of employees' religious observations and emergencies. Just don't make things up. In 2010, a Bronx elementary school teacher was fired for lying about her mother's death to cover up missing three days of work. When her employer found out her mother was alive and kicking, she got the boot. Honesty really is the best policy.