Topics To Avoid At The Work Water-Cooler

Our resident PR Specialist Riley takes networking very seriously – it’s part of her job after all! This doesn’t have to be exclusively outside the office. Forming meaningful connections with your colleagues can give you numerous benefits, from learning opportunities to collaborations you never know when a contact will come in handy!  Here Riley takes us through her do’s and don’ts of workplace chit-chat…

Here at Lux Group we’re a fairly social workplace, as I imagine many Australian working environments are. We love a good chinwag over a morning cuppa, and if you’re spending 5 days a week with these people – it makes sense to make an effort!

However, be warned, off-handed comments you make can rub certain people the right way, so choose your topics wisely! Read on for my handy guide to conversation starters best left outside the office.

Politics & Religion

We’ve all heard the old adage of suitable dinner party conversation – not to bring up sex, politics or religion. It’s pretty safe to extend this general rule of decorum into your workplace chit chat. It’s of course important though to remain mindful and respectful of your co-workers differing religious and political beliefs and values, without ‘preaching’ your own onto others.

Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Roll

Okay, maybe outlining your top five rock bands is pretty safe, but as for sex and drugs I’d say it’s pretty much a big no-no. Susan from Finance doesn’t want to hear juicy details about your crazy Saturday night on the town, and chances are neither does your manager. A safe rule would be to only divulge what you’d be comfortable sharing at a family dinner in front of your grandparents, try and keep things PG rated people.

Derogatory Comments

Possibly the most important of all, don’t spend your time in the kitchen having a good ol’ vent session about a colleague, client or boss. I can’t stress this enough. Not only is this not the kind of impression your work-mates (and potential future manager) to have of you, anyone could be within earshot! Next time you go to vent about someone or something, stop and think if you’d be comfortable with them hearing you say it. If that’s a firm no, take a deep breath and stop yourself.

So what should I talk about then?

I’m 100% for making friends at work, studies show it makes you more productive and honestly makes your working life much more pleasant. Next time you’re waiting in line for a cup of tea, try asking how their weekend was, or how things are going in their department? You never know how networking, even within your own company, can help you down the track!