You will spend many hours in your workplace, perhaps more hours than you will spend at home in a given week. In the work environment, you will be surrounded by people and will likely form social bonds, including friends and rivals. It's important to keep some boundaries between your personal life and professional life, especially by limiting what information you share with co-workers.
Gossiping in the workplace can hurt people and damage your ability to be trusted by others. This is not just a lesson for middle school and high school students. If you spread gossip, such as information about which co-worker is dating which co-worker, you are going one step too far -- sharing a person's information with others without permission. People will think you don't know how to keep confidential information to yourself.
Whatever your relationship status is -- single, married or in a long-term relationship -- avoid sharing romantic details with others in the workplace. One example is when you're in the lunchroom telling a co-worker about a date you had last night with a person you just met. Personal romantic details may be offensive to other people in the room because they do not want to hear these details about your personal life. They could also use this information against you when they are trying to get ahead.
Personal Relationship Problems
Be careful about griping about people in your personal life. Don't complain about your spouse, kids, relatives or close friends. Don't complain about neighbors, people at your gym or your bank teller. First, you never know who in your office might know that person. Second, you will get a reputation for complaining about people, which is generally a negative trait. Third, your co-workers might work with you for a long time, and they have long memories.
Don't talk about how much you earn, in terms of wages, tips, commissions, bonuses or other monetary benefits with co-workers. This information can be repeated to others and create feelings of resentment and jealousy in the workplace culture. For example, you might be hired at a higher wage than a person who does the same job and has been with the organization longer. Also, your wage information disclosure could get back to your boss, potentially making you look unprofessional. Some might argue that you should share how much you earn if you think you and your co-workers are underpaid, but it's risky to talk about this, no matter how much you trust a co-worker.
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