Office Gossip

The headline of a recent article in the New York Post screams, “Gossip drives workers to distraction.” The story was about the most common breaches of workplace etiquette among fellow employees, according to a survey by Accountemps, a division of Robert Half.

Office gossip topped the list of complaints. Being distracted during meetings was a close second. The study of over several hundred workers in 20 metropolitan areas also showed other things workers hate: snide remarks made behind their backs…not giving credit or praise to others…failing to respond to e-mails within reasonable amounts of time…being late for meetings and missing them…and criticizing co-workers in public.

“Most jobs today require teamwork and strong collaboration skills,” said Richard Deosingh, a senior vice president with Robert Half, who is quoted in the article. This means following business etiquette such as turning off the phone during meetings and group discussions, avoiding the rumor mill, and being responsive to e-mails and phone messages. Also, instead of hogging all the glory—share some of it with co-workers.

Getting back to office gossip, not to indulge in it is nonsense. The Post article about gossip driving workers to distraction fails to mention benefits you’ll receive by being part of it. There are ways of participating in office gossip that can advance your career. I explain how in the chapter about how to be a better employee in my book, “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.”

Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.