Knowing and following proper workplace etiquette is important to achieving a sense of professionalism and ultimately keeping a company running smoothly. There are certain conversation topics that are simply not workplace appropriate, no matter how relaxed or casual your workplace is. Below are five topics to avoid discussing at work.
1. Don’t tell your coworkers what you make.
Many people tie their professional value to the size of their paychecks and feel competitive with their coworkers. Because of that, making your financial situation known can negatively affect your professional relationships. For example, if you make more than a coworker who has been with the company for a longer period of time, that knowledge could very easily create resentment. That’s not good for the workplace environment.
2. Don’t talk about financial challenges.
No matter how much you’re tempted to, it’s a bad idea to confide in your coworkers about your financial challenges. That’s not the kind of information they need to know, and there’s little they can do to help. Plus, once you tell them about your financial issues, you may experience their judgment when you decide to buy an extra coffee or go out to lunch with the group. Better to keep your financial troubles to yourself, or tell your friends away from work.
3. Don’t discuss delicate personal matters.
Sometimes you get so comfortable with your coworkers that it’s easy to slip into talking about inappropriate things. But no matter how close you are, talking about your sex life is just not appropriate at work. Not only does it compromise your privacy, it can also open you and your company up to sexual harassment charges. Your should also avoid other personal matters, such as trouble with your spouse, children or parents.
4. Avoid politics…
It seems like politics is all around us all the time. Because of that, it’s easy to slip into discussing this topic with your coworkers. But doing so is bad for your relationships and reputation at work. Just avoid this topic altogether.
5. …and religion.
While your faith or spirituality may be very important to you, this topic can make co-workers uncomfortable. It’s best to be sensitive and respectful, and stay focused on conversations related to work.
While honest and open conversations with your coworkers are a good thing, there are certain topics you should always avoid. Hopefully this list will help you navigate what to discuss and what to avoid.