Unspoken Rules of Socializing at WorkNidhi Gupta
Socialising is human nature and indeed it makes you productive at work. Not because you can gossip a lot but because you remain informed about the trends and latest updates about the organisation. But when you get too involved in socializing, you might find yourself getting trapped in the vicious cycle of office politics. Colleagues and juniors who were friendly and cordial with you might turn against you suddenly. People with whom you never interacted with, might come for your support for the greater good of organisation.
So here are a few tips that you should keep in mind for socialising at work.
1. Follow the Code of Conduct
Look for the people with whom you work. The age and type of people define the organisational culture. If your office comprise of maximal people that fall in the age bracket of 20-30 years, then you can organise lot of parties, organise trips and also get involved in casual chit chatter. But if you have more number of employees that lie in the age bracket of above 30 - 50 years of age, then you need to maintain strong boundaries with the co-workers.
You need to keep in check that age has direct implications on the finances and preferences of people. The elder ones are more family oriented and have huge responsibilities o run family. While younger ones are free to live life at their expense. The norms of socializing shall always be framed keeping in mind the priorities and preferences of the employees.
2. Don’t reveal your secrets
When you work with your juniors, peers and seniors and interact with them of daily basis, you get inclined to form an informal relation. Personal talks about family, your choices, likes and dislikes and hobbies take place quite often. And when you get too involved in the bond, do not cross the line. Keep a control on yourself and do not reveal your secrets that might hamper your professional growth.
Do not share your future plans with the colleagues in a way that they might start working or plotting plans against you. When an employee shared his plans to take classes for competitive exams in the evening after the office, the boss made him to work in the evening shift. Later the employee realised that the manager got to know about this development in his life via his colleague.
3. Don’t get too personal
Prying into the lives of others and then spreading rumours about then is a habit which is looked down upon the professional environment. Treat people around you with dignity. Do not question the personal choice and opinions of others. If your colleague is inclined towards a particular political party, then don’t get into argument and judge the person’s mindset on the basis of their choice of a leader. This will spoil your professional relations and will lead to a cold war at the workplace. Very often such differences reduce the productivity a work and employees experience disharmony while working on a group project.
4. Keep your words in check
Using slangs and abusive language in the office premises with your peers and juniors can lead to a wrong impression about your behaviour. Some might blend easily with your behaviour while others can secretly complaint against you in the HR department. And this is the time when you won’t be judged on the basis of your work but on the basis of your poor soft skills to deal with the employees. A research study says that the success of an individual in the job is due to 85% soft skills and merely 15 % because of your hard skills. When the next time you converse with your colleagues, seniors and juniors, keep a check on your tongue and language.
5. Avoid getting into a serious relationship at work
It is a well known fact that ‘love knows no bounds’ but still finding for a serious relationship at work or getting into sexual flings after the office party can lead you into great troubles. When you work in the office boundaries, keep your personal emotions at bay and respect the professional boundaries. Getting involved with the opposite sex can hamper your career growth and can harm your reputation as well. But if you are really serious about someone, then do not use the office space or time to discuss issues that are of personal interest. The organisation will not entertain your attitude to waste time on issues other than work.
These were a few tips on how you can keep away from office politics while easily socialising at work with your colleagues and seniors. We hope that the do’s and dont’s of socialising will keep you in good spirits at your workplace.