The Maine Group

020 7734 7341

Contact Us

TMI: When to keep quiet at work

Posted on 23rd November 2015

You spend an awful lot of time with your work colleagues, so naturally it's easy to get very unguarded and relaxed with each other. But whereas you're free to say exactly what you want to your mates down the pub, different rules apply in the workplace.
If you're too frank and honest in the office, you can alienate your colleagues, jeopardise your career progression and maybe even break the law! So while it's fine to chat with your colleagues in a relaxed and informal way from time to time, don't share too much information and keep a lid on some views and opinions you may have.

Here are just a few rules you should always seek to follow.
Don't talk cash

Colleagues never enjoy hearing about how some fellow workers are earning more than them. So if you're on a slightly higher salary than everyone else, keep it quiet or you'll simply end up being resented. Or worse, you could trigger dissent among your fellow colleagues and they'll start demanding more money - in which case your boss might view you as a disruptive influence.
Keep private health issues private

Any personal health matters are unlikely to be directly relevant to your job - and if they are, they should be discussed in confidence with your boss. Otherwise, it can make your colleagues very uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Leave personal woes at home

Your family might be totally dysfunctional, but you're in the office to work, so don't bring any emotional baggage with you. Not only is sharing your private woes completely unprofessional, it's also a nailed-on way to stop you getting a promotion. After all, if you're being weighed down by personal troubles, your boss will be unlikely to want to hand you extra responsibilities.

By all means, share a few facts about your private life with your colleagues, but they don't need intimate details about everything and everyone related to you.

Don't vent on social media

Twitter and Facebook are a natural port of call for anyone after a hard day at work. But do you really know who's reading it, even when you think you're being discreet? Someone could tell the boss that you're posting negative comments about your job or fellow workers on social media and they probably won't react well to it. 

Your manager might give you a slap on the wrist, but they'll also probably think you're someone who isn't well-suited to greater responsibilities at work, as their existing role is already making them lose their rag on the internet.
Don't discuss religion and politics

These two subjects are virtually guaranteed to offend somebody - and employment law offers protection to anyone who does feel their views are being belittled at work. So even if you're itching to start a theological or political debate, save it for when you're somewhere else.

If you bear the above tips in mind, you should be able to steer clear of any inappropriate conversations and avoid inadvertently putting your foot in it. 

For more advice on how to deal with work colleagues, speak to our specialists here at The Maine Group!