We spend 8-9 hours each day within our office environment, therefore, the office colleagues automatically become one of those closest friends with whom we share each and everything.
Though, the casual office time chit – chats or the gossips is looked at as one way of relaxation by the employees, but when it is done during the productive hours, then it becomes one of the most damaging factors.
Without your knowledge, it will hamper your reputation as well. If you are looking for the title of gossip king or queen in your office, then it is okay to carry on these kinds of activities, but if you want to be known as someone responsible, then you must stop all these activities right away.
This simple office chit chat can be termed as office politics as well where few minds gather to spread rumors about someone who is performing well.
Others might think that you are coming up to their desk and hampering their work on purpose, so that their productivity goes down. It is always better to stay away from all of these. It has the potential to take you down in the office.
If you are talking about something which is not related to the work, then it is best that you do it during your breaks, otherwise you are actually wasting your productive hours in doing something non productive which is not at all expected.
These chit chat makes the office premise look like a school where you have these teenagers hanging around in one corner and bitching about someone else. It is harmful for your career and hurtful for those against whom you are venting.
Moreover, it doesn’t put you in a good light as well because you are seen as someone who is malicious, catty and untrustworthy. It is always said that the prevention is better than cure, so you must cut out the office chit chat right away, rather than enjoying it and then facing the consequences when it grows bitter.
If you are thinking that you will lose some friends if you ask them to stop chit chatting about things that are unimportant, then you can handle the situation in other ways.
Getting the message across to them is important, so you can do that in a way which will make them understand that you are not in favor of what they are doing.
You are not the only one who is in this situation, in fact, you will find many people out there who is in a fix about how to stay away from these kinds of people who not only waste their own time, but happily involve others and bring down the productivity of the team as a whole.
Some people are smart enough to complete their assigned task and then don’t care about helping others to complete their respective works, instead go up to someone else’s desk and start talking to them even when they are busy with their work.
So, at the end of the day when you have not finished your work, your manager is shouting at you, but you can see that for whom you have not been able to complete the work is all smiling because his work is all done.
Therefore, the golden rule to avoid this kind of situation is to stay away from these people who don’t value the time of others.
Tips on How to put a Stop to office Chit Chat:
When you are chilling at your desk after completing a complicated report all by yourself, you see some of your colleagues coming up to you and start discussing the result of last night’s match without your consent.
You are not in the mood of discussing anything because you are so exhausted, but they are not ready to understand your situation. So, what do you do? Just tell them to leave, but no, that would be too rude and you also fear that they will start avoiding you after that, which is not what you want.
So, how do you handle people who don’t understand the meaning of relaxation! It is really hard to avoid them because you really enjoy their company, but when you are working or relaxing, you don’t want them to disturb you. There are some ways to avoid them without being boorish and here are some of them.
1. Headphones will keep them away:
There are some good pairs of headphones, which has the feature of noise isolation. You can wear them to work and when you are relaxing or you are too busy with your work, you can just wear them to keep your colleagues away from your desk.
When your colleagues will see that you are wearing a headphone, then most likely they will not disturb you if it isn’t for something important. You can just turn on the noise isolation feature only without turning on the music; it will do because your main objective is to make your colleagues stay away from you.
You can also wear the earbuds, but that will not be so much more effective because they are tiny and your colleagues might not notice at all.
It is a proven fact, that when you are wearing a headphone, even when your colleagues will pass your desk, they will leave you alone without saying a word. Therefore, you can definitely try them on.
2. Stay away from rumors:
When you hear that your colleagues are gossiping about somebody or they are spreading rumors about somebody, then the best way to handle the situation is to walk away from them. It might seem rude, but in order to keep yourselves away from all these rumors, it is best not to give the rumor mongers an ear.
It doesn’t really matter whether you spoke in the discussion or not, your presence will count amongst these gossipers.
So, if you want to keep your image clean, then you will have to excuse yourself from these kinds of situations. When they will see that you are not interested they will stop bothering you as well.
3. Share the work pressure:
When someone comes up to you and starts chatting with you, then what you can do is ask them to help you out with your work. Just tell them, now that they are free to roam around they can surely help you out with some kind of work which will help you in completing your task quicker. If they see that you are sharing the responsibilities with them, it is unlikely that they will come back to your desk when they see you working.
4. Expressing less interest in whatever they say:
If they are trying to persuade you to comment on the trailer of some new movie, then you can behave as if you haven’t watched the trailer and don’t have any idea what they are talking about. But, there is a flip side to it too, your co-worker might take the onus of explaining the whole trailer to you! It might be the scenario for one or two days, but they will understand that you are really not interested and they will stop bothering you.
5. Show interest in things that they are not interested:
It is another way of asking your colleagues to leave your desk politely. If you see that your colleagues are interested in movies, then you can come up with some information about the documentary film that you found interesting and talk about that. You can also ask them whether they have watched the new program that was aired on Animal Planet last night.
In this way, just try to talk about things which is completely different from what they have been talking about and they will understand. They will stop sitting there for long hours, instead they will just hang around for some time and excuse themselves from there.
6. Look for another cooling place:
If you loved this place to cool your heels after some serious work, then you can start looking for some other place to relax because your colleagues can easily discover you here and they will start feeding you with things that you detest.
You might be the one who loves to eat your lunch all by yourself, but your colleagues have some other plans for you. If you want to keep them away, then you can either start eating your lunch without investing a single word.
Before you start munching on your burger, you can just give them a blank look, hopefully they will understand that you want them to leave, but if they are not, then you can start and this time for sure they will leave. If you feel that they are bothering you at this place, then look for a different hideout where you will be safe.
7. Let your manager change your cubicle:
You are not in high school that you will complain about your classmate that they are bothering you. Agreed, but what if you have tried every possible thing to let them know that you don’t want them to bother you when you are working or is busy with something? You can just let your manager know that you want a cubicle in a place where these colleagues will not distract you.
This will only be possible, if you are not working in a small team or you have huge floor to explore, but if your team needs to sit in one specific place altogether, then it might be hard for you to shift to a different cubicle.
Sometimes what happens is that your seat is in such a place where people are bound to cross paths and they will generally stop by to say hello. If that is distracting you and is hampering your work, then it is better that you talk to your manager and shift your place where there will be less commotion.
8. Don’t get personal:
Sometimes we tend to share some of our personal information with our colleagues and that somehow gives them the opportunity to stretch the conversation further. But, do you think that the office is the right place to do that? No, not at all. If you are disturbed about something that has happened in your personal life, then keep it to yourself and don’t involve your co – workers in it.
9. Don’t encourage name calling:
If you see that your colleagues are turning their conversation towards something which involves a person who is not present there, then you can stop them right away and let them know that you don’t prefer talking about somebody behind their back. Though, it might catch your colleagues off guard, but most likely they will deviate from the topic they are discussing.
10. Make them aware of the company policy:
If you see that your inbox is filled up with messages about some juicy gossip and the chain of mail is going really long, then just let your colleagues know that the mails are being checked randomly and if the company finds out that someone is spreading all these gossips through email, then the punishment will be severe. When people understand that they can be under scanner for continuing something like this, then it will definitely stop the gossips.
11. Try to create an amicable environment in the team:
As a human we talk ill about only those whom we don’t like. Therefore, if you have a small team, then try to create an environment where each team member has respect for each other and they look forward to learn from one another, so that they can excel in their work.
Ensure that your team members are closely knit and they are not self centered or petty at all. If you have a small team, then you can help each other in bringing out the best in you, but in case the team is bigger, then it will be a challenging thing to accomplish.
12. Ruining the credibility:
You can explain your colleagues that if they continue to gossip around in this manner, then they are actually belittling their own reputation and credibility. Nobody looks at the gossipers in a good way, therefore, instead of wasting valuable time in doing nothing, they must concentrate on their respective career goals.
13. Keep mum:
This one is a sure shot winner because when your colleagues are chit chatting with you and you are not saying anything and neither are you participating in any which ways, then they will understand that you are not interested and will stop it.
Moreover, they can also learn from you how to rise above all these petty things and work towards grooming yourself for better results in future.
14. Being upfront will do the trick:
Sometimes we keep on thinking of ways, when it is much simpler to be up front. When you just let them know that you are really busy and can’t engage in any chit chat session, you will see your colleagues apologizing for intruding your space and disturbing you.
They will completely agree with you and will leave you all by yourself at once without misunderstanding you. So, you just have to gauge the situation and your colleagues and let them know that you will be more than happy to talk to them later when you have completed your work.
You just have to understand the nature of your colleagues and try out one of the above mentioned ways to make your colleagues stay away from you.