Talking Business!

PNN’s Employment Tip - May 2012

Depending on the industry, the specific company and the company ‘culture’, some workplaces may be considered quite informal when compared to other countries.  Nevertheless there are some conversations that don’t belong in any workplace.  Bringing up some topics could cause discomfort among your co-workers and harm your reputation in that work environment.  In general it is wise to stay away from personal information that may influence your co-workers’ perceptions about your ability to do your job effectively.  You should also be sensitive to information that will pass as office gossip.
Here are a few specific topics to approach with caution, whether you are sharing information or asking it of others:

  •  Religion
  •  Politics
  •  Salary information
  •  Work complaints, especially about other people you work with
  •  Intimate details about your personal life and relationships
  •  Problems with your family
  •  Your every minor health problem

Where you work is both a social environment and a work environment.  You must balance being friendly and having a good rapport with your co-workers with doing business in a professional manner.  If you feel that any of these topics are important to share because they may impact your work, for example the need to visit family in the hospital, it is best brought up in private with your immediate supervisor.
For more information visit "Things not to talk about at work".