Although corporate culture is becoming increasingly informal, don’t let the laid back office environment get the best of you. Your casual workplace may lack some formalities, but there are still boundaries that should never be crossed– yes, we are talking to you Mr. I-Did-Drunk-Karaoke-at-the-Office-Party. To insure yourself against any unnecessary embarrassment–or worse, here are 8 things to keep under wraps at the office.
1. Your office crush- If you’re commenting on your colleague’s rack or divulging your obsession with the new assistant, you might as well just purchase a one way ticket to court for a sexual harassment lawsuit. We think it’s best to keep your love life separate from your work life. Things don’t always play out like Jim and Pam’s romance on The Office– so keep your plans of walking down the aisle, dancing to Chris Brown to yourself.
2. Weekend activities– This is the part where you pretend like nothing at all interesting happened to you last weekend. Strip club outing with the boys…didn’t happen. One night stand with what’s-his-face…didn’t happen. Neither did your reckless night resulting in a DWI, capice? What happens to you outside the office should remain outside the office. End of story.
3. Your religious/political beliefs- Keep your opinions on religion and your political affiliations to yourself. These are touchy subjects that should not be discussed with your colleagues. Think Switzerland and remain neutral if these topics get brought up; no good will come from you spouting your opinions on Obama’s latest health care decision to your boss.
4. Opinions on your boss- If you have the boss from hell, it’s ok– you’re not alone. Many good, undeserving people are subjected to the wrath of Miranda Priestly clones daily. But, before you start drawing horns and a pitchfork on your boss’ photo, put down the red sharpie and think. There is no need to jeopardize your position by announcing your passionate disdain for your superior. You may consider switching careers, but hold back on company sabotage– it is never a good idea to burn your bridges.
5. Your future career plans- Have your eye on the corner office? Scheming to climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top? No matter what your career goals are, it is best to keep them quiet to your colleagues. Otherwise you run the risk of looking overly ambitious and trust us, theAll About Eve type is not always welcome in the office.
6. Foul language- While you should watch your language regardless of your setting, you must pay particular attention to what you say at work. The office is not the place for vulgar language or crude jokes– personal phone calls and emails to friends are not exempt from this rule, either. These days, anything can be seen as offensive, so when in doubt, keep your mouth shut.
7. Office gossip- If you find yourself beginning a sentence with “Hey, you didn’t hear it from me, but…”– stop right there. You might not have heard, but high school ended years ago, so quit gossiping and get back to work. Talking about your co-workers behind their backs is immature and will only reflect poorly on you in the end.
8.Your salary- Right alongside religion, your income is one of those topics to avoid. Money tends to be an uncomfortable subject to discuss in general, but exchanging annual salaries with your co-workers is an especially poor idea. Either you will find out that you are underpaid, or your colleague will resent you for your higher salary. After all, ignorance is bliss.