Are You Overstepping Your Boundaries at Work?

November 06, 2018 / by Rico Perez

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Work life and personal life oftentimes clash in a close-knit work environment that at times feels more like a family gathering than an office!  Usually this is good for employee morale and productivity, but what happens when employees and managers alike overstep their boundaries?

 

What should these boundaries be?  I mean everyone knows you must be careful when discussing certain topics.  Here are a few that could create chaos and controversy:

  • Religion: People are extremely passionate about their religion and often put down other religions to further the claim that theirs is the one and only that should be followed. Wars have been fought for centuries based from religion, so it is safe to say it should not be a topic discussed at work! 
  • Politics: Wow!  What can I say about this topic?  I think it is safe to say that there has never been a more polarizing figure in the White House!  That being said, there are very strong opinions for and against the incumbent party.  Next to religion, it is the second most taboo subject to discuss at work!
  • Sex: Two words…. #Me Too!  The long overdue movement that has swept the nation in an attempt to bring light to sexual harassment and sexual assault.  There have been hundreds of high-profile cases, many of which have ended in terminations and in some cases prosecution!  However, many of these accusations only merited a suspension or a scolding because maybe someone was “only telling a distasteful joke”, or maybe someone was “only trying to compliment someone”!  Remember!  You have “Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say” especially in the workplace!
  • Health: Talking about your current medical conditions is something that should be done with a confidant at work, but not with the entire staff.  This information could cause your manager to scrutinize your performance which could be used against you for upcoming promotions and or lay-offs. 

 

Whether its religion, relationships, or politics just remember you are in a work setting and it is a safe bet that these topics should remain off limits.  Make sure your staff understands what proper office/work etiquette is… not sure how to relay this message to your employees?  Allow BIG-HR to incorporate an “Office Etiquette” or “Culture and Diversity” training for you and your staff, it could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees, not to mention the rising cost of recruiting and hiring!

 

Topics: Human Resources, Determining Opportunities & Threats

Rico Perez

Written by Rico Perez

Rico Perez is a partner and VP of Training & Development at BIG-HR. He has over 8 years of experience in HR-related training & management.