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Top Two Ways To Devastate Your Workplace

Updated on June 30, 2010

#1 Spread Office Gossip

One of the greatest factors for loss of productivity in the work environment is not computer downtime, lack of training, or unreasonable deadlines. It's the office gossip mill. Many a career has been squashed and many an hour has been wasted around the water cooler discussing Sally and Brian doing the horizontal mambo on their lunch breaks, whether or not there is any evidence to support that statement.

Office gossip is insidious and pervasive. However, there are several steps you can take to make sure that you're not the next victim.

1) Don't participate. Gossip is as gossip does. If you elevate yourself above the fray, the gossipers are likely to go find another target.

2) Ask for evidence. Ask the person what the source was of the information and how they know its accurate. That is likely to kill it there and then.

3) Don't talk behind people's backs. If Sally's dalliances are being discussed, insist that Sally be present.

4) Don't give them anything to talk about. If you mind your own business and keep a level head, you're not going to be discovered in compromising situations.

5) Keep records. It's going to be hard for them to pin a particular malfeasance on you if you were at the dentist on in a sales meeting all that afternoon.

Follow these simple rules and you'll see the green eyed monster of envious gossip wither up and die. And good riddance!

#2 Write a Confidential Email: Tell the World!

Even the most business savvy individuals live under a tragic misconception. They might make sure that they make confidential business calls on their mobiles from the middle of a parking lot; they might shred everything they ever write including their lunch orders; and they might even utilize electronic "helpers" which border on corporate sabotage. Yet these very same paragons of security will email absolutely anything to absolutely anyone with sheer impunity.

Let's put it this way: Every email you send is like placing an ad in the newspaper. Just like someone 50 years from now can go to the library and look up that day's edition on microfiche and read your ad, anyone at anytime can dig up every email you've written and do anything they want with it. No matter what email service you're using, from your company server, to hotmail, to the "secure" communications systems of the Pentagon, a 15 year old hacker can pull out all your messages in 15 minutes without even breaking a sweat.

We've all heard the stories about the employees lambasting their bosses on email and it getting out to the press. These publicized mini-scandals are absolutely nothing as compared to the amount of critical company information which can be mined from an employee's email. Access to an employee's email account is an inside trader's dream.

You're several million times more likely to have your information intercepted by email than by phone or even fax. If you have any information at all which could even remotely be considered sensitive, email the person informing them that you will be "filling in the blanks" by phone or fax. If the information is really critical, then only communicate that in person, and preferably while strolling in a park. Yes, this sounds like Cold War Spying Techniques 101, but your future, and by association your company's future, may depend on it.

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