If you are worried about office gossip, don’t be. No really, don’t be – because if you do get worried it can actually make you a target. At least that is the conclusion of research from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The study claims that paranoia about negative office gossipor being snubbed leads people to seek out information to confirm their fears. Not surprisingly this sort of inquiry annoys colleagues and actually increases the chance they will become unpopular.
“It may be best to ignore impulses that tell you that you’re thevictim of office politics,” says lead author and Sauder Professor Karl Aquino, whose study was recently published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
The amount of gossip in an office is obviously dependent on its size and the quality of its staff – and the amount of work people are doing.
“If you have staff gossiping, and other staff running around frightened at being the centre of gossip, how much actual work is being done?” commented a spokesperson from office consultancy Search Office Space.