How to Improve your Office Space

In the workplace, we all need a place to stay organized, especially depending on the type of business. A common reason many people are disorganized, is because they lack a proper workspace. Many assume it’s just due to laziness, but this isn’t always the case. Because of a cramped office space, it’s often difficult to organize all your papers and folders. Either you need to better utilize your office, or move into a new office where you have more space.

Whether you work from home as a contractor or freelancer, or are in the workplace, having office space for your business is important. After all, your employees definitely have a place to work, whether it’s their own private office, or a personal cubicle. On the other hand, it’s not just enough that you have your own office to work, but what are some ways you can improve on this? Are your making the best of your personal office? Are you still being distracted by things around you? Here are some ways you can improve.

#1. Clean Up Your Office

First and foremost, if your office is a mess, you need to clean it up. After all, how will you be able to work if all your papers are scattered around? Even more so, you’ll have trouble locating your papers and folders if things are disorganized. By organizing your files and folders, you’ll not only get a clearer picture of what needs to be accomplished, but you’re also setting a good example for your employees. Not to mention the business as a whole. As another way to organize and clean your office, use separate and unique folders for each type of document. Have you thought about color coding your folders? As an example, put all of your essential papers in a red folder (as if to signify their importance), while any miscellaneous documents could go in a green folder or any miscellaneous color of your choosing.

#2. Move to a New Office

As I mentioned earlier, another reason you might be disorganized, is due to a lack of office space. After all, you can’t lay out your files in the way you want to if there’s no room to do so. If this is the case, then consider moving to a new office, or expanding your current one. Obviously, it’ll give you the opportunity to work more efficiently, but it also gives you a chance to turn your office into more than just a place to work.

Have you considered buying accessories for your office, such as decorations? While this doesn’t necessarily serve a purpose in helping you complete your tasks, don’t forget that this is your own personal office. Why not lighten up the mood a bit? Many people have this mindset that an office should be a place devoid of any relaxation and enjoyment. However, it shouldn’t just be a place where you work on tasks, it should also be a place where you enjoy working on said tasks. Having more space in your office, allows you to design it the way you want.

#3. Find a Quiet Place to Work

This mainly applies to those who work from home. One of the keys to improving your office space, is to be free of distractions, and find a quiet place to work. First of all, do you have kids or pets? If not, this is a huge opportunity for you. If you do have children, on the other hand, finding a quiet space is absolutely essential. Either way, whatever space you plan to use, don’t be afraid to turn it into an office. Remember, this is where you’re going to be working a majority of the time. Regardless of whether its your family room or bedroom, clean up, organize everything, and get started!

Whether you work from home or are in a business, these are some tips for creating the perfect office space for your business.

For more information about ways to improve your office space in the workplace, which will lead to better success in your business, feel free to contact me today. Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your business security, or are looking to optimize your customer service with voice intelligence, I look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in the best way possible.

7 ways to improve your office space

Office design is a rather crucial part for any new company or startup. As a matter of fact, when things get concrete the first step is to figure out a proper space and a proper design in order to host the company’s facilities. Designers, contractors, furniture, planning etc. etc. can get pretty intense, but let’s say that you finally get your office space, your meeting rooms, waiting areas and front desk: are you happy about it?

Whether you are about to start a new company or you already work in an office that somebody designed, it’s important to recognize how crucial the office design is for the company’s internal health. The office space is supposed to accommodate, facilitate and support whatever is the business you are in, plus it’s the very first thing a new client sees. For these and more reasons, I have listed a few advices for you to improve the workplace without the need for a huge budget.

1 The front desk

Ask yourself and check what is the very first thing people see when they step into the office. Take a picture if necessary, print it and make sure you take a good look at it. Then ask yourself what you want new clients to see: confidence, professionalism, a clean, uncluttered space, bright colors, maybe the logo/name of the company…Are the people walking in and seeing all these things at once? Is the person at the front desk well prepared? Is she/he smiling? Address all these questions and you will massively improve the picture.

2 Waiting area

Take a seat, how do you feel when you are there? If your office has a waiting area, make sure to test it yourself or ask everyone in the office their opinions about it. You need some feedback, you need to make sure that a) people feel relaxed b) they cannot see too much of what’s going on “behind the scenes” c) they have something to do or to look at (a screen, magazines) d) think about disabled or old people, can they easily sit? What about children? Do you provide something for them too?

3 Toilets

A great responsibility lays on toilet space, problems get fixed during casual conversations, people from different backgrounds meet at random and have a chance to exchange ideas, make sure toilets are not just a service space but a place where people can actually enjoy going. I’m not suggesting to put deck-chairs but at least invest a bit more money in order to give everyone privacy, hygiene but also comfort and inspiration.

4 Desk or cubicles

This is a big one since desks, chairs, laptops and cubicles can make a large part of your office budget and have a dramatic impact on the overall quality. This is a very delicate and complex part of the office design so you should really take it seriously and address this issue as soon as possible. First of all, make sure the employees have enough space to move and settle. Humans are territorial animals, give people enough space to walk, talk, sit, stand, stretch and of course work. Also, give them a chance to customize their own space, they deserve it – a whiteboard, a partition where you can attach and hang things – give them a chance to say “this is my space and it reflects who I am”.

5 Storage areas

Storage and clutter usually go together. Who cares about storage, right? Well, it’s wrong. Like I said earlier you need to sell a very precise image of your own office space. Clean up the storage, make it as pleasant as possible, people will have to deal with it at some point, and you will too. Make sure everything is in order and well organized, would you eat a sandwich in there? Is there enough space to move? Can people actually sit down and check documents and files without having to go back and forth from their desks?

6 Common areas

Workers must feel “at home” when they come to the office, or at least they should feel like the office is designed around them, not just about making money. As a matter of fact, workers should feel happy, relaxed, willing to spend a few extra hours in the workplace. Nobody would like to sit for endless hours in a black cubicle with poor lighting and simultaneously produce great work for the company. Do you have common areas for your employees? Can they cook? Can they sit down and have an informal chat? Some high tables and chairs perhaps? A nice couch with a nice view? What do you provide for them? Is there any area where they can actually “play”? Are you addressing the fact they are human being and not just robots filling spreadsheets?

7 Lighting

I cannot stress enough how important is the lighting in a workplace. Poor lighting is the cause of a lot of psychological and physical issues so, address this problem in your office, check whether the employees are experiencing glare or not, if the kind of lighting in your space is the correct one. A quick research online will provide you with basic, inexpensive advices of how to improve the quality of lighting in your office environment. Every area of the office should follow a few basic rules in order to make everyone feel comfortable.

Forget open spaces, people want to be left alone

Since the late forties, cubicles office design have dictated how we should deal with our working environment, to the point it wasn’t really a choice anymore, it was the only way to go. This has created a very large of supporters and haters: when you have no choice, people either love you or hate you. A reaction came in the late eighties and exploded later on, this reaction is the very topic around which this article has been written: open office.

 

What is an open office if not a slap in the face of cubicles? We hate you cubicles, you reduced our lives to boxes, making us feel like cans in a supermarket, let’s all embrace the seamless space generated by the office space, where everyone is happily sharing a completely harmonious working experience. Well, not so anymore.

 

These are harsh times for open space offices, although they’re still up and running all over the place and they’ve established their identity, something is cracking out of this idea, and we’re starting to hear a new wave of complaints. Why is that so? What’s going on with employees these days? Possibly it’s our egotism and the fact that, in the end of the day, we don’t like each other that much.

 

Open spaces became popular in the first decade of the new century, and within ten more years, we find ourselves at a point where we no longer love them so much. Of course our main reference here are tech companies in Silicon Valley. Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. etc. have all embraced the open space trend to a smaller or larger extent. It’s almost useless to mention what kind of office layout they have adopted, and it’s the rule of thumb these days for any other tech company and more.

 

But maybe we have pushed things a bit too far, taking for granted that open offices were the perfect answer to the problem of enjoying our office spaces. You see, the main issue here is how happy are we in the office space, and sooner or later we must ask this question. What an open office promises you is not to feel clustered, boxed, trapped into three and a half walls that don’t even have the guts to get to the ceiling. But an open office is a disaster for privacy and focus, isn’t it?

 

You see and hear everyone and everything. You’re in the middle of everything, it’s possibly the most distracting way of working you can think of, it’s like sitting under the midday sun naked and with no shading, you’re exposed to whatever it’s going on around you and there’s no protection, no filter, no screen, no escape.

 

I’m voluntarily painting the open office as a terrible idea in order to prove my point and make you realize that there are bigger issues at stake. In fact, all those problems fade away when compared with the real issue here: we can’t stand each other.

 

Sharing ideas is great, communicating them also, discussing on the go, feeling in a community…wow! All great things, but have we considered for a moment that we-humans aren’t really good at that? Have we questioned the very basic assumption that all we want to do is to hug each other and tell each other funny jokes?

 

The open office idea is based on the fact we are very good at sharing, and we might be more creative and happy as well. In less than 20 years we have discovered that, yes, cubicles suck, but open office isn’t the real answer.

 

We need to rethink and mix the two, we need to change our approach and start from a different assumption: people, sometimes, enjoy getting together and sharing, yet most of the time are better off on their own. Let’s rethink the office now.

Ergonomics: don’t take it for granted

There’s many aspects of the office environment that we just take for granted. We walk in and out, we sit, we call, we eat, we meet, we shout, we take a break and do it all over again. We do what we are supposed to do and, for good or bad, time goes by and you stop noticing what happens when you actually are in the office, using those spaces and facilities.

You’ve heard this before. You’ve told yourself exactly the same words: there’s things in life that matter more than the paycheck, and among those things, health – meaning body health – is one of them. Ask your future-self, he’ll tell you everything about it.

Awareness is the key. Being aware of what’s going on to your body while the weeks, months and years pass and you’re still enjoying the same job, routine, rhythm, boss, colleagues etc etc is possibly one of the biggest favor you can do to yourself right now. Awareness of…what exactly? We’re here to take a good look at you. Not the hard-working, problem-solver, CEO-you, but the flesh, blood and bones YOU. And to do that, we’ve got to talk about ergonomics, the science of how the body interacts with the designed world around us.

 

Ergonomic issues in the office environment should be at the top of any designer or architect’s priority list. If it’s not, well, you might want to find someone who does care about it. In our case, this comes down to a few advices, a few tips, a few things you might want to check the next time you punch-in and sit at your desk while an avid monitor is awaiting you for another day of ups and downs. Before checking the newly arrived 50 emails, let’s walk into a state of awareness and pay attention to the physicality of our workplace. Let’s ask a few questions.

 

What seat do you have? For how long do you seat every day? Sitting for long hours in the wrong chair is the number one office-health issue in many countries. So, to begin with, alternate sitting and standing hours – if necessary put an alarm clock every 2/3 hours and stand up, go to wash your face, stretch out, get a coffee and take the long way to get there, your whole body will thank you in 10 years. This provides your body (spine, legs, circulation, joints…) an opportunity to regain flow and strength. It’s a very simple, inexpensive, useful and enjoyable thing to do in order to keep your body in the best shape possible while you are in the office.

 

How do you seat? Check your posture: sit as close as possible to your desk, with your upper arms parallel to your spine and your hands rested on the work surface. Elbows and knees should be at a 90 degrees angle and try to maintain this ideal sitting posture for as long as possible. Make sure your chair isn’t too high or else you will experience ankles swell and general legs circulation issues. The depth of your seat is also important: buy a cushion in order to support your lower back at all times and try to push yourself against the backrest while working at your desk.

How’s the lighting in your office? Do you experience any glare? If you’re sitting at your desk, you’ll be highly effected by the quality of the light in your office environment, so the next time you go to work, you might want to do a test. Glare is a result of poorly designed environments and can have a big impact on the quality of our working hours. Reflective surfaces and screens produce glare which is a major ergonomic factor. When you sit at your desk, is there any light-source distracting you? Shade your eyes with your hand (or wear a baseball hat), are you experiencing any difference? Place a mirror in front of you (or on your working surface), do you see any reflected light source? If you answered YES to any of those questions, you’re most likely going under a lot of glare-stress.

There’s a lot of design choices that you just have to swallow when you walk into a new job, we all do that. It would be great to re-design our offices with the health of the employees in mind, but there’s a bunch of person who should be doing just that, and they do have a name: interior designers and architects.

Everything around us, since we wake up in the morning, has been designed by somebody for somebody. That is, unless your job is literally walking around forests or beaches. At this is increasingly true in the cities where we live, eat, sleep and experience a great deal of stress cause by bad design. Why that has to be the case?

I believe you can and should do something about it. We are talking about 8, 10, 14 hours of your life per day. In other words, this should be number one priority for the simple fact you’ve invested so much of your time and health in it. Those advices are there for you to follow or ignore them. Awareness, ergonomics and a bit of habit adjustment will do you no harm…in the worse case scenario you’ll end up liking your job.

How to Spark Creativity in your Workplace

Startups, design firms are not the only fields that desperately need to generate creativity. If you ask me, any working space should be designed in order to do that, because we all need to generate new ideas and in order to do so, office design plays a crucial part. The question is, how do we achieve that?

 

Cubicles dominated our working spaces for decades and it’s time to change that. We see changes all over the place, see for instance companies that thrive on creativity, Pixar, Google, Facebook to name a few. But this idea has been really taking off in the past 20 years and I would like to give some general advices in order for you to improve your office.

 

Good riddance to grey walls, anonymous corridors and dull lighting, we can do much better than that, and we can really give our employees an environment that breathes creativity. A few keywords will guide us to do better: inspire, share, play, personalize.

 

Inspire

 

Inspiring your employees should be one of the most important goals of any office design. You want people’s creativity to be enhanced by the very space they occupy for hours on end. A big quote in the toilet, a blank whiteboard where people have to write things they are grateful for or simply a list of things they want to improve.

 

To some extent you need to imagine your whole office as a white canvas where the employees – the generative force of your company – can express themselves. But putting inspirational quotes is not enough, you need to go further. The colors of the wall should in some part blue, green, yellow which have psychological effects on our creativity.

 

Share

 

Generating new ideas is all about making new connections, and in order to do so, you want your employees to have as many opportunities as possible to bump into each other and share those ideas.

 

Take Pixar for instance which at some point put the toilets in the middle of the office space in order to maximize chance encounters and therefore the birth of new ideas. I’m not suggesting to be that extreme, but make sure that employees have spaces and moments to sit down and share ideas, relax, feeling free to express themselves. Common areas should be at the center of the office, especially pantries and coffee areas should be seen not as a waste of money, but rather as a plus. After all, new great ideas can result in higher revenues for the company.

 

Play

 

Work and play should go together. Do you have a space where employees can do so called “unstructured activities”? Taking breaks is another way to trigger creativity, and giving your employees a space where they can do that by playing with each other, by letting go of the stressful day is essential to it.

 

In the age of technology everything defers to screens and monitor, give your employees analog games, board games and alike. Maybe they can play with clay, or mini-golf. Depending on how much space you can dedicate, do not think that watching movies and playing video-games is the only way to go, there are plenty of cheap, non-technologic ways to inspire people, and they really need it.

 

Personalize

 

It goes without saying that you can’t pretend people to be inspired or creative if you put them in a box that is exactly the same as the box next to it. Humans have the uncanny need to express themselves and to do so you need to provide a flexible space that can be personalized by the employee. This is both a design but also managerial issue.

 

You need to give people space to say “this is my spot and it should look like this”. At the same time, you need to also give them a flexible environment where they feel like they can change things, shuffle the furniture, work by standing or laying down the floor. A relaxed mind is necessary in order to generate new ideas, make sure that’s the general feeling of your working space.

Office Life: How To Stay Sane

It’s no secret that offices, depending on their layout and design, can be a challenging place for our mental sanity, regardless of your ranking, there’s a lot of things going on and the more people are involved, the more important is to know how to survive.

 

Due to a wild variety of offices and typologies – think about open offices or cubicles for instance – it’s hard to generalise, but we’ll try to do that by imaging a case study where we all work in an open office, possibly with high density of people and, of course, you’re constantly running out of time with deadline and stressful moments. Let’s imagine the worse case scenario and try to figure out how to cope with it and how can we stay sane despite it all.

 

Reclaim privacy

Privacy in an open space, or any cubicle office space for that matters, is a hard concept to grasp. What I think is that privacy, just like respect, isn’t given but earned. Wearing headphones could be a very subtle but effective way to communicate to the passers by that “No, I’m not looking forward to to talk to anybody”. Of course, don’t exaggerate. Communication in most offices is crucial, so turn the volume down and remember that sometimes you really need to talk to people in order to get things done.

 

Another way to reclaim privacy is by sticking to a fixed schedule tailored around your needs and timings and making sure that everyone knows that. Tell people when and how they can reach you, or they’ll assume “anytime, anywhere” is the norm. If they step in your working zone, make sure they know they’re bothering you, even with small casual remarks. You need to establish a routine and educate the people around you in order to claim some sacred working time – just remind them how much it takes a person to regain his/her full focus whenever you’ve been interrupted (ndr, around 15 minutes).

 

Remember your body

Take breaks, take a walk, stretch out, beware of your posture – write a post it right in front of you with these things. We easily fall into habits and end up ignoring things that are right there under our nose. So make sure you remember that it’s not just about your eyes, your hands on a keyboard and your brain. You’ve got an entire body with you while at work, and if the body isn’t happy, you won’t be happy either.

 

Make sure to take breaks, five minutes, maybe walk out the office, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a park nearby, a change of hair will do you good. Move your body, change posture often, be aware if you have any pain. A great deal of problems can be avoided if you constantly remind yourself that you should keep moving, especially if sitting in front of a monitor is your major activity.

 

Close the deal

Most of us walk home carrying a huge load of stress derived from their daily jobs, this will for sure jeopardise your supper, let alone your life. You should make a point, every day, to close the deal and, if you can, foresee what tomorrow brings. Make sure to go home with at least a general idea of how to solve that issue or that situation. Start a diary where you jot down the “closing day” points. If you haven’t talked to someone in the office, do that in few minutes, make sure you’re taking steps to leave your work inside the office walls.

 

This is a crucial point for your own mental sanity: to separate work and personal life. The point being that work is just work, your life is what really stays with you the whole time and therefore it should be prioritized. You need to take conscious steps in that direction, even where it’s impossible to do, make sure to create some “buffer zone” in between the two and whenever you’re doing it every day, bringing your work at home, take a break, stop it, make sure you have moments where you say “that’s all for today, see you tomorrow”.

How Office Design Can Affect Your Mental Health

If you go home after 10-14 consecutive hours of work spent in your office and you don’t feel somehow mentally drained, well, most likely there is something wrong with you. Researches and studies from all over the globe provide extensive evidence of how much our personal life and specifically our mental and physical health are heavily affected by too much work in unhealthy or wrongly designed environment. If we agree upon the fact the environment in which we work have a massive impact on our well being (and happiness), what are then the factors we should pay attention to in our offices?

 

Here is a short list of some of the things you might want to keep on check, no matter if your work in an old office or you just moved in a brand new compound with super expensive carpet tiles and sliding glass doors. Mental and physical health are non-negotiable part of a job, any job, and regardless of your role within the company, you should highly regard all these aspects of your workplace.

 

Sound

Have you ever tried to close your eyes and focus on the noise in your office? Make a list of all the sounds you can hear and try to distinguish them from each other. Speech, telephones, machines and people just moving around can constantly get your attention away from whichever task you’re focused on. We all know how long it takes to get “in the zone” every time we have to re-focus on something, how many times per day can you afford to get distracted before time is running out? Noise is cause of stress and cognitive fatigue, day in day out. Especially in open offices, it rather important to introduce some barriers or partitions in order to channel or even stop the noise. Or else, you’ll have to introduce policies in your office where everyone must observe a strict silence during working hours.

 

Air quality

Have you ever turned on the a/c in your office to discover a very poor and rather disturbing smell? Have you ever thought about the quality of air in your office? Heating, ventilation and air conditioning have a great impact on your lungs and if overlooked, these things can slowly cause illnesses among the employees, specifically to the respiratory system. Especially in rooms with many machines or people, high ceilings and up to code HVAC are necessary in order to facilitate ventilation. Also, an air purifier could help to keep things on track.

 

Lighting

I can’t stress enough how the lighting quality can impact the performance and well being of employees. Every person in the office should test the presence of glare whenever they are working, and make sure they have the right amount of light on their workplace. Access to natural light is also very important – think about the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), caused by reduced hours of sunlight – and will immensely benefit the mental health in the office. In case you have the opposite problem – an office with many windows – it’s not too difficult to dim or filter the light coming inside during the day, but first make sure you understand the orientation of the building, your designer or architect should be already aware of this.

 

Personal Space

An office full of people, machines, wires, furniture and stack of paper and with very little personal space is not going to be a place where anyone is happy to return or to go in the first place. What is the density of your office? Where is the densest area in your office? How much space every employee has in order to effectively do their jobs? Have you ever considered the importance of personal space related to mental health? Regulations state that every employee should have a minimum of 11 cubic meters per person, which of course should be well designed by using the right layout and materials. But that’s not enough. Cubicles have dominated our offices for decades, even when people clearly stated how much they hate them, they’re still a design-icon, so to speak. The cubicles are designed around the question “What is the minimum personal space we should provide?”. Decades passed and we’re still asking this question. A desk, a laptop, some leg space, the correct office chair, and a bit of lateral space in order to breathe seems to be all we need. Our desk is our little island, yet, people suffer from stress and fatigue in any office. Something is wrong.

 

If you want to address one point in order to improve your employees working hours, sit at their desks and ask yourself how you feel – try to imagine how does it feel to be there for 10+ hours, 5 or more days a week, years on end. How does it feel? Addressing this question, and implementing the before mentioned points will have a huge impact on people’s mental health and, if anything, make your office a happier place.

Stuff

I was referred to this article by Paul Graham.  I thought the article was very interesting.  The author explores how our possessions have increased in number and (in some ways) our value of them has decreased in a way.  He also talks about how stuff used to be less accessible in generations past, and as a result, people had less accumulation.  As opposed to today, when industrialized countries have access to more and more stuff at continually lower prices (and many times lower quality).

More stuff doesn’t equate to satisfaction.

Isn’t it amazing how you can buy and buy and never feel satisfied?  Shopping addictions are pretty common, and difficult to overcome.  The deal is, no accumulation of stuff will ever fill the hole that we are trying to make it fill.  It’s about the value of life, people and experiences we come into contact with that should fill our days.  When it comes down to it, stuff will never love us back or help us when we’re down.

No amount of organizing or redesign can hide the fact that one has too much stuff in their home or office.  It’s not something that can be contained by a new product or process.  Really dealing with how much we have, and how much we bring into our lives is paramount.  It’s not worth having if it’s not useful.  It’s not worth the footprint in our space if it doesn’t bring value to life – it’s just stuff.

Buy with purpose.

I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I like a good quality handbag or a nice pair of shoes that will last.  (For me, quality is more important than brand names – I could care less about what people think of the name on my bag.)  However, unconscious purchasing (which runs rampant in the USA) is a real dead end.  Buying stuff should be something we do with purpose, keeping in mind how it will serve us as a useful possession – NOT how it makes us feel when we buy it.

What’s your thought on “stuff”?

How To Avoid That Office Gossip Bug

Gossip or the “office virus”, happens to everyone, regardless of your ranking and almost no workplace is immune from it. In other words, where there are people, there is gossip. How can we be better at managing it? Here are some practical solutions.

 

As we all experienced at some point during our office careers, this virus called gossip can undermine your morale, start a micro-war and cause major productivity drops. A misunderstanding, a gesture or the wrong email at the wrong time can spark a whole internal crisis within any organization. So what can we do in order to stand still while the storm approaches?

 

1: Look inward

Inward looking is always harder to practice than outward criticism. In other words, we are all very good at seeing some faults and cracks in the people around us while we are very bad at taking a good look at ourselves first. What kind of leader are you? What kind of person are you? Have you ever questions the way you approach others? Are you actually gossiping about others, sharing funny jokes or rumors with your peers just to kill some time? To understand what is your attitude, and to try to correct it, is possibly the very first step you should take against gossip.

 

2: You can’t listen if you’re talking

A person that I knew and constantly talked a whole lot just about anything once asked me “You don’t talk too much, do you?” and I bursted into laughter and added “If you wanted me to talk, you would shut up at some point and listen”. This applies to gossiping too. When something bothers us, sharing it with our colleagues and finding people who are willing to listen to you is essential. Gossip often sparks from the fact a rumor didn’t get fixed right away because we were too busy focusing on ourselves and didn’t listen to the issue when it happened. Talk less, try to pay more attention to your surroundings, after all your co-workers are people just like you, and they need someone who’s willing to listen.

 

3: Don’t shoot the messenger

At some point, somebody will come to you and tell you what is the gossip about. Don’t kill the guy, don’t attack him or her personally because you are in a bad mood or get defensive. As it happens, probably the person who is telling you what’s going on, is doing it in a good faith in order to help you. Of course this is not always the case, but attacking him or her won’t get you any closer to solving the issue, quite the contrary – it will give that person fuel to gossip even more. In other words, stay calm, sit down, let the first rush of hanger fade away, and then calmly try to understand as many details as possible about the gossip, that person is actually a source of information.

 

4: Sideways or face to face?

If you are put in a spot where you actually know who is the gossiper, well, a whole new world of possibilities opens to you. Of course the first question is how to approach it. Would you go thermonuclear on him or her, or should you take things slow, approaching it sideways? There is no right way to do this but you can pick and choose which situation applies best to your case. Is the gossiper in a higher status or ranking or lower? Measure your actions and words, just in case you want to keep the job. Is the gossiper external to your team? Confront him/her always making them feel that you are not taking it personally and you have no interest in attacking them, don’t let them get defensive on you. Is the gossiper your boss? Well in that case you should tell him/her what you think and quit the job. At times is useful to let things be, especially if the issue is so silly that you really don’t have time to be wasted on it.

 

5: Confront the issue, not the person

Don’t take it personally, never. When you do confront someone who has been gossiping, you will come across far more professionally if you focus on the issue and behavior rather than on the person. For example, instead of saying, “You are a bad person for gossiping about me,” consider saying, “I am concerned about the gossiping, and I want it to stop.” This way of reacting makes you look better and more professional to anyone else who might hear about it, a fact that can help you politically.

 

6: Investigate

Despite your best attempts, the gossip virus is still there, what you do next? Simple: go deeper and invest some time in asking questions. Collecting more information about the gossip is basic way to scare it away. Ask about details, names, places, times, people involved, sources etc. etc. Like urban legends, gossip often have no legs to sustain them, and by putting some pressure on whoever is talking about it, it will be clear that it was just another myth we really shouldn’t be talking about.

 

7: Be professional

Think about it, what is a gossip and when is gossip harmful? A gossip is generated by something that happens, or someone that feels envy about someone else. Before the gossip even happens, remember that you are in the office to do a job in the best way possible, and that your life and your job are not the same thing. Giving people reasons to gossip about, sharing too much, showing your foolish sides to your co-workers is possibly a risky move. Some of them will laugh, others will most likely use it against you. So be professional, do not give people reasons to gossip about.

 

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