Business Bytes: 8 ways to sidestep office dramas

The office, it is all fun and games until there is drama. Suddenly the place where you spend every day feels like you’re back at school with silly backstabbing, popularity contests and cliques. However, getting involved in petty office drama is only going to hold you back. Keep yourself on route to success by avoiding office politics and drama by doing these things.

1. Remember your age
Let’s face it, you aren’t the person you were when you were 16. So why act like you’re still that age in the office? If you don’t like certain colleagues, there is no need to discuss it with others as what difference will it make? Unless they are doing a bad job or clearly breaking the rules, keep quiet. Remember that you all have lives outside of work and that the office isn’t the most important place in the world, like school felt when you were there.

2. Talk in person
Instead of sending difficult emails or asking colleagues to say things on behalf of you, grow up and talk to people you have an issue with in person. It will get sorted within a few minutes in person, but over emails or through other people, it never will and it will just be unnecessary drama causing tension in the office.

3. Choose carefully who you socialise with
It is great to be close to your colleagues. If anything, it will help you get through the day knowing you have the support of those around you. However, once you start spending your time with colleagues outside of work, you will inevitably become closer in the office. Be careful and watch who you spend your precious time with, you need to be able to trust them and know that they will support you in a work situation, or it could become very awkward.

4. Keep yourself to yourself
Often, it is easier to keep yourself to yourself. Although you want to be friends with your colleagues, by growing too attached to them it can be difficult to watch if they get into trouble in the office or even worse, get the sack. If you want to avoid office drama, keep to the small talk and don’t see them as potential best mates. You can even set certain privacy settings on Facebook where your colleagues can’t see what you post, which can help you living a life outside of work.

5. Get on with your work
Remember that at the end of the day, you are at work. There could be arguments and tension going on around you, but it is best to get on with your job and you will soon find yourself immune to silly office politics. Do what you are there to do and don’t allow yourself to get dragged into drama.

6. Remember you’re being watched
At work, you should always assume that you are being watched. Keep in mind that everything is a test and could affect your future. The best thing to do, without acting too paranoid, is to always act as if you are being watched by the boss and what they would like to see you doing. If you have a moment where you question if you would get away with it if your boss was sat next to you, you shouldn’t be doing it.

7. Stay positive
Although it is easier said than done, you will be respected much more by your colleagues if you continue to appear upbeat and positive, even when there is obvious tension in the office. If you don’t get involved in the drama and stay positive, people are more likely to appreciate your presence than the ones who are always getting involved. This will be remembered when it comes to promotions too.

8. Think about the bigger picture
Remember that, after all, it is only work and there is more to life. It is important to laugh things off and don’t dwell on issues. If you’re being stubborn, think about why you’re doing this and if it is fair on your colleagues to deal with mood swings and tension in the office. If the issue is so bad, go to HR and sort it out rather than making everyone feel uncomfortable.

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