It seems that everywhere you look and go there is someone talking about the recently elected President of the USA. It is a hot topic and yet many workplaces have grappled with how to handle office chit chat about current affairs – especially when those conversations seem to be overtaking the workplace and possibly stopping work from being done.
An article in HC Online tackles this very issue here http://www.hcamag.com/hr-news/is-talk-of-donald-trump-taking-over-your-workplace-231006.aspx
Chit chat happens in every workplace even (and perhaps especially) when the management team try to put a stop to it. People often talk while they are working and unless it interferes with the work or customer service then it shouldn’t be considered a problem.
The article provides 5 really good pieces of advice on how to keep productivity up and gossip or chit chat to a minimum
– don’t micro manage
– focus on goals
– encourage integration
– bite your tongue
– unite over work
If I were to add my three tips they would be:
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Unless work targets and service standards are being missed, let it go. You have no real basis for challenging anyone’s behaviour unless work is not being done so let it go.
2. Keep your own sense of humour. Perhaps a light heated quip that “certain things are better discussed over a coffee or a drink” than in the workplace
If the topic is getting to you personally and work isn’t being affected, you’ll need to find a polite way to either extract yourself or to ask others to refrain in your presence
3. Encourage a team environment where they manage and monitor their own chit chat time and pull each other back into a productive and work focused head space