While at work, there are a few topics that you should avoid speaking about with your coworkers.
Since you’re a representation of the company, its brand, and your employer, you should always attempt to keep things professional at all times.
The office should be an environment where your main focus and priority is your work.
Unless your boss has approached you with a topic of interest that they would like to discuss with you and the rest of the team, then you should keep personal beliefs, experiences, and preferences to yourself—especially those that are sensitive issues.
Listed below are five topics that you should not discuss while in a conversation at work:
While you’re making money, you shouldn’t be talking about your finances. This can make your fellow colleagues jealous or resentful towards your financial situation. This includes your spending habits when it comes to your house, new vehicle, or clothes. Everyone basically has an idea what salary each worker is making, so it’s no need to give any clues or indications regarding the amount of money you earn. At the same time, it can be an awkward moment for you and your coworkers if you’re sharing with them any financial struggle you may be experiencing at the moment. Leave information regarding your wealth or debt at home.
For some of you, treating your coworkers like family and opening up to them about your personal life is the norm; but it’s just some details that should be kept confidential. Participating in conversations involving sex is totally unprofessional for the workplace; and because sexual harassment laws do exist, this can lead to trouble. Unless you work at a job that specializes in this sort of thing, then by all means gossip away. However, anything related to love, breakups, or dating should be talked about outside the office. After all, who wants the entire business building knowing about their depressing divorce?
Race is one of those topics that always end with a person feeling some sort of animosity, distrust, or annoyance. In America, racial tension still exists to some degree, despite the diversity in most work situations. Speaking of race, culture, or ethnicity could lead to disagreements, arguments, and even civil disputes. Stay away from racial topics within the workplace, especially ones that affect those who may feel threatened by them. If you’re all working as a team to reach a business goal, race shouldn’t matter at this point.
This is another sensitive subject that should be kept out of the workplace. Discussing politics and governmental matters could lead to division among coworkers. People tend to support different parties, policies, laws, and social issues. Sharing voting decisions is always a bad idea because not everyone supports the same political candidates or runners. Telling people about the community work you’re involved with may not always get a positive response. These personal beliefs are just not appropriate to talk about while at work because it always leads to a heated debate.
Lastly, religion should not be a topic of discussion. By not talking about religion or any spiritual practice, you are respecting other people’s beliefs. Everyone’s faith is not the same and not everyone will be receptive to talking about your own religious philosophies. Also, as an employer you should never base your professional practices and decision making according to your religion, or you could face legal liability charges.
With that said, engage in conversations only concerning your job. Of course lighthearted chats about your favorite football team or last night’s episode of “Scandal” may occur every now and then; but overall, avoid topics that could possibly have a negative effect on you or the people working with you.