Career / Self Care

‘Guilty' Pleasures At Work That You Should Indulge In, Guilt-Free

. 5 min read . Written by Sanjana Bhagwat
‘Guilty' Pleasures At Work That You Should Indulge In, Guilt-Free

Sleeping in for an extra few minutes (or hours), skipping that workout for a week (or a month), drinking too much coffee, leaving that mess to be cleared up at a later time (aka never). These are all examples of guilty pleasures! We all have indulgences in our day-to-day lives that take us down the bitter-sweet road of feeling so good in the moment, and just as guilty after. However, there are a few things that we tend to see as “guilty pleasures” at work, but that we need to stop adding to our list of things to feel guilty about!  

Here are 8 work guilty pleasures that you need to start treating as more pleasurable, and less guilty indulgences!

8 Work Guilty Pleasures At Work You Need To Stop Feeling Guilty About

Not Having The Pre-Work Morning Routine Of A CEO

We’ve all come across those “motivational” articles and videos – “Morning Routines of High-Performing Individuals”, “CEOs’ Morning Routines To Set You Up For Success”. They break down the highly-orchestrated morning habits that extremely successful people claim to follow. These individuals “hop out of bed” at ungodly hours, meditate, drink their healthy juices, journal, exercise, read, catch up on the news, shower, have nutritious breakfasts and freshly brewed coffee, and basically fit half a day’s worth of activities before they start working ﹘ all with the sun barely up in the sky. These very productive (and seemingly impossible) tasks could give anyone a guilt trip!

It can be easy for this “motivational” content to alternatively make you feel like you’re in a guilt trap for not being able to have a morning routine that looks anything like this.  

It’s alright if your morning routine includes just one or two of these habits. It’s alright if your morning routine is just waking up with enough time to feel awake and ready to take the workday on.

Whether you’re a CEO or not,  do whatever makes you feel your best for the rest of the day, and do it guilt-free!

Taking Time Off When You’re Not Sick

Vacations are like vitamins – you need to take them regularly! And we don’t just mean a vacation involving travel and outdoor adventures. Even just a one or two-day vacation from your work to recharge and rejuvenate can do the trick.

Even when you aren’t ill or don’t have a reason to take a holiday, there are days when a little time off from work is exactly what your body and mind need. This is especially true if you’ve been feeling overworked, demotivated, tired, or foresee a potential burnout creeping up and you absolutely don’t need to be overcome with feelings of remorse over this.  

Most importantly, don’t ruin these vacation days by feeling guilty about resting through the course of it! You need and deserve regular breaks.


A little bragging never hurt anyone, and can also help you assert your value and visibility at work.

We’ve been conditioned, especially as women, to be modest about everything we do and be silent spectators in our own achievements.

Instead of feeling sorry and regretting later at work, show up for yourself. Track your wins, and talk about them! Give yourself the credit wherever you deserve it!

Expressing Your Opinion When It Is Different From The Team’s

Speaking your mind at work is not always easy, especially when your opinions are in contradiction to those of most others.

Don’t let the fear of displeasing your co-workers and seniors, or the guilt of inadvertently coming across as undermining someone else’s opinion stop you from expressing yourself.

Your opinions matter and need to be a part of the narrative. It’s time to unlearn this guilty pleasure at work. Remember – Express, don’t suppress!

Dressing Up Or Down

Feel like accessorising, matching your outfit with your shoes, or doing a full face of make-up for work today? Do it! Feel like wearing your hair in the same bun it has been since the day before, and wearing the comfy-est old clothes to work? You go ahead and do just that.

Contrary to how we’ve been conditioned to see “professionalism”, your day-to-day attire has very little to do with how professional you will be at work. Dressing up is not “extra”. Dressing down does not mean you “don’t care”. All your outfit does is make you feel the way you need to be feeling that day – so dress up or down based on nothing but that!  

Seeking Validation

Who doesn’t love a little praise? You’ve put in the hard work, and think you’ve done a decent job. But receiving validation from others can be a great feeling! Indulge in this guilty pleasure at work regularly.

Ask for feedback from your seniors regularly – if they are unhappy, their critique can help you understand where you need to improve. If they are pleased, the validation can be extremely motivating and is sure to be a great boost for your self-confidence every time.

Sharing Details Of Your Personal Life With Co-Workers

“Keep your private life private, and professional life professional” – a motto we’ve all imbibed when entering the world of work.

However, you spend over half your waking hours every day, five days a week, with your co-workers.

It’s not “professional” to just treat your co-workers as simply being a part of your “network”. Don’t hold yourself back from sharing and connecting with your co-workers on a more personal level. Remember: nothing is an embarrassing guilty pleasure at the workplace if it gives you a much-needed break

Not Talking To Your Co-Workers Some Days

Some days, you just want to keep your head down, finish your work, and not talk to anybody – and that’s okay!

What isn’t okay is not being clear about why you may suddenly be acting aloof and need distance from your co-workers. Communicate that you aren’t feeling up to socialising that day, set healthy boundaries, and don’t feel guilty about giving yourself the space you need!

Allow yourself these pleasures at work, and stop beating yourself up about indulging in them!

What is your go-to guilty pleasure at work that you’re willing to admit and are unabashed about? Share them in the comments below! 

Updated 12 August 2021

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