Avoid work rumors | 4 ways to keep out of the rumor mill

Water cooler

The water cooler is a great place to chat - but a bad place to avoid work rumors. Image: Flickr / danielmorris / CC-BY-SA

Spending 40 hours a week or more at work can feel like you’ve got a second family. With that much time, taking steps to avoid work rumors can be important. Here are four ways to avoid work rumors with your co-workers.

Avoid work rumors with e-mail

It has happened to all of us – typing the wrong name or hitting “reply all.” If you are trying to avoid work rumors, an e-mail sent to the wrong address can really hurt. Double-check the recipient on all your e-mails — even if it’s just a quick note.

Avoid work rumors by avoiding gossip

Anytime a group of people are together all day every day, gossip can happen. Work rumors are a result of some people simply needing drama or looking for something to talk about. If you want to avoid work rumors, avoid the gossip mongers. Making friendly conversation is one thing, but talking about other co-workers is something entirely different. If someone tries to start a work rumor or gossip about someone else, just turn the topic of conversation or politely excuse yourself.

Avoid work rumors by staying sober

Every office culture is different. Some employment contracts lay out that you should stay entirely sober while at work, others have a bottle of Irish Cream next to the coffee pot. No matter what your office culture, know your limit and stay below it. Being drunk may be the excuse for lots of office faux pas, but why give the gossip mongers the ammunition? If you’re going to be drinking, don’t do it at work.

Avoid work rumors by being honest

Work rumors are usually started because someone believes they’ve got information someone else wants to keep secret. Be it information about the new 401k program, the next office party, or your credentials, rumors can get started very quickly. Start out by being honest about yourself and the credentials on your resume. Be honest about anything you are asked about. If you need to keep something secret, then be honest about that. Even a simple “I can’t talk about that, but I should be able to share more on Tuesday” helps assuage work rumors.

Other recent posts by bryanh