Here’s What Not to Talk About at Work (And Why!)

Getting along with your coworkers is something everyone wants. They can be great friends outside of the office, or at the very least they’ll make your work day a little brighter. But once you start becoming close with your coworkers it gets tempting to let some walls down and talk more freely on other topics.

These topics below should never be discussed with your coworkers, especially in the office. Avoiding them will save you the trouble of entering debates and/or making enemies. Plus, office gossip spreads like wildfire and no one wants details about his or her personal life spreading around, cubicle-to-cubicle. So, play it safe and never engage in a discussion or bring up details about the following topics:

Politics:

Always a huge and personal debate topic in any setting, but political preferences and views are topics to stay away from with your coworkers. Political discussions can quickly turn into heated debates that will only distract you from your work.

Bottom line: everyone is entitled to their own opinions and you don’t want to turn people off from you or offend coworkers.

Your Party Stories:

Want your coworkers to take you seriously? Then avoid bragging to them about your wild Saturday night that involved a handle of Fireball and puking in a bar. Plus, just imagine if your boss were to overhear the conversation!

While we’re on the topic of alcohol and coworkers, remember to still hold it together when going out for company happy hour and ease up on the visits to the open bar at office parties.

So remember: the people in your office are coworkers first, and friends second.

Money:

Even among friends who don’t work together, money is always a touchy subject. So naturally, bringing it up with people at work can make things awkward very fast! With regards to salary, bringing it up or chatting about it to coworkers could lead to some serious resentment if they are being compensated differently than you. In general, stay way from topics about personal finances; you never know what kind of financial situation your coworker is in.

If coworkers are asking you about personal finances, expenses, or salary, it’s best just to avoid pretending you don’t remember or being more firm and say you’d prefer not to discuss it that.

Religion:

Religion is quite a private subject and should only be discussed outside of work. Even if your coworkers are like-minded, you could offend someone overhearing your conversation.

Once again, this topic just takes away from your work and runs a risk to the company of possible lawsuits and creates problems where none need to be.

Sex:

Sex should never be a topic of discussion at work. And for two big reasons: your partner probably wouldn’t appreciate being a tidbit of tantalizing gossip at your office and because you’re probably making everyone around you uncomfortable.

In general, talking about sexual preferences or sexual behaviors can easily be construed as sexual harassment.

Your Search for a New Job:

Even if you feel that your coworkers can keep hush your plan to find a new job, it’s best not to mention it to them until it is a done deal.

It’s too much risk since you don’t want word to get back to your boss that you want to leave the company. She could just make the decision to fire you before you’ve secured a new position.

It’s not bad to be excited about plans to move for grad school or new job prospects, but you’re better off discussing it with your friends or family.


Just remember it’s totally okay to make friends in the workplace. They can be awesome when you are looking for advice, need help networking, and especially when you need some motivation, but they are always coworkers first and you want them to take you seriously and respect you.

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About the Author:

Caitlin Johnson is the newest addition to the team here in Austin. At XTech Staffing, Caitlin is a Marketing Specialist and writes career-advice related articles and content for the website. She also manages XTech’s social media scene.Caitlin’s a recent transplant to Austin. She moved here in June from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and it was there that she earned her BA in Public Relations and Communication. When Caitlin isn’t writing or cruising through blogs and Instagram for inspiration, she can usually be found hanging out at the Greenbelt or searching for the best (and spiciest) Tex-Mex this city has!
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