Professional Taboos to Avoid in the Workplace

Navigating the workplace can be daunting for new employees. They usually want to fit in with the workplace atmosphere and the desire to belong to the group may lead to some social faux pas. Employees want to have a social workplace where everyone gets along but workplaces may have social politics that become a source of anxiety and stress for some employees. Trying to avoid the social politics of a workplace can become tedious but may save employees undue stress in the long run. Keeping stress levels low while at work helps with productivity.

Learn the important topics that should be avoided at the workplace and review additional tips to avoid social faux pas at work. While a slipup here and there is understandable and most employers and fellow coworkers will overlook them, it is important to try to make the workplace comfortable for everyone. Review the information below to learn how to avoid taboos in the workplace.

Do Not Discuss Personal Income in Colorado Workplaces

It is not uncommon for fellow employees to tie their paychecks to their professional values, so it is wise to keep all salary or hourly rate information out of conversation. Letting coworkers know how much an employee makes can create resentment and affect the professional relationships in the workplace. For example, if an employee makes more than his or her coworker who has been with the company longer, this knowledge could create resentment with the coworker and ill feelings towards upper management. For this purpose, many companies have policies against discussing salary or wages with fellow coworkers.

Do Not Discuss Financial Challenges in Colorado Workplaces

No matter how much an employee would like to create or join in on chit chat about financial challenges at home while at the workplace, it is not a good idea to confide in coworkers about financial issues. Coworkers do not need to know this information and there is little a coworker can do to assist in this situation. Additionally, when workplace peers know about an employee’s financial woes, they may become judgmental about the employee’s choice to purchase an extra cup of coffee or to buy lunch one day.

Do Not Talk About Politics and Religion in Colorado Workplaces

When it comes to workplace taboos, politics and religion seem to go hand-in-hand. There is no shortage of social faux pas when it comes to these sensitive topics. Politics seem to be everywhere, so it is easy for an individual to start discussing this subject in the workplace. However, discussing politics may be against company policy because it can alienate fellow coworkers, creating discord. Additionally, while spirituality or religion may be important to an employee, not everyone practices that faith and it can make other coworkers uncomfortable. It is best to be respectful of other coworkers’ differences and avoid the topics altogether.

Discuss Only Appropriate Activities and Jokes in Colorado Workplaces

One of the most common questions heard on Monday morning in the workplace is, “What did you do over the weekend?” Unless the activities were completely PG-rated and do not involve any of the aforementioned topics, discussions about personal activities should be kept to a minimum or not discussed at all. Coworkers, managers and bosses are everywhere so it is best to keep discussions about controversial activities outside of the workplace.

The other common faux pas many individuals experience in the workplace is a badly worded or inappropriate joke. While a joke may seem funny to one employee, it could be completely insulting to another. Even if a joke seems completely innocent, it could insult someone who did not understand it, so inappropriate jokes should be avoided. Another common issue is sarcasm. It might seem okay to be sarcastic with a coworker but an individual may not know if the coworker is interpreting the joke as sarcasm or as the truth.

Do Not Respond to Everyone in a Group Email in Colorado Workplaces

Responding to a group email with personal or unflattering information about one of the other recipients is a workplace blunder that can easily be avoided. Be sure to double check the recipients of an email before it is sent off to ensure it is not being sent to the wrong individuals. If the email happens to be sent out to everyone and there is no way to recover it after the fact, send out personal emails to each individual who may have received the poorly written email. Another way to avoid this blunder is to send professional emails only without insulting or embarrassing information or to create a separate email instead of using the reply button.

Never Use Inappropriate Language in Colorado Workplaces

Lastly, any form of profanity, such as swearing, racial slurs and offensive language is not acceptable in the workplace. Engaging in this type of conversation or language creates a bad impression of the employee and can lead to harassment and discrimination violations. Using slang and profanity makes an employee look unprofessional and immature and may lead to termination. It is best to be as respectful as possible in the workplace and understand that not everyone appreciates certain terms.