Gossip at work can decrease your productivity, spread paranoia, ruin workplace relationships, and create conflict. And it’s even worse when you discover your coworkers are gossiping about you! Here are some tips to avoid falling for the drama, becoming the subject of toxic workplace gossip, and negatively impacting your job and mental health.
Dress for Success
Appearances count, and gossipy people tend to focus first on what people are wearing. Choose work outfits that are right down the middle of what’s expected by your employer. Do not draw attention to yourself. If the dress code is jeans and t-shirts, make sure yours are clean and well-fitted. If your workplace calls for more professional attire, choose classic styles rather than anything flashy.
Skip the Office Romance
An office romance can be fun, but it will put you squarely in your coworkers’ sights. The best way to avoid people staring in your workplace reality show is to avoid these relationships altogether. If you absolutely must date someone you work with, be as discreet as possible. No displays of affection (or arguments!) at work. Keep the relationship secret if you can. On a side note, many companies do not allow dating among coworkers – especially if they work for the same department, manager, or possibly on the same floor of a building. If you do date someone at work and it causes work-related problems, you can expect someone to be moved and/or to lose their jobs.
It can be easy to fall into an overly friendly relationship with your coworkers, especially if you go out for a happy hour or otherwise socialize outside of work hours. Humans are social creatures, and good work relationships are essential. But always remember that your work friends are coworkers first and friends second. Carefully choose your confidants, and keep things lighter and less personal with everyone else. Though it may be hard, keep your opinions to yourself.
Bite Your Tongue
One of the fastest ways to become a target of office gossip is to lose your cool. Shouting or crying can give you a temporary emotional release, but it will haunt you long after the initial situation is resolved. Back away from tense situations until you are able to lower the temperature. Calmly address any tensions with the relevant parties rather than complaining about them to others.
Lock Down Your Social Media
What you do outside of work is no one’s business…unless you make it their business. If your social media accounts include photos of you getting drunk or engaging in other non-workplace-friendly behaviors, lock them down tight. Don’t become social media friends with your coworkers unless you’re okay with them having a close view of your personal life.
Ready for a new job?
Of course, some workplaces are just inherently toxic. If you’re trapped in a bad situation at work, start searching for a new job with SURESTAFF today! We can help you find a light industrial position in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin.