Having a water cooler in the office is a great idea as it ensures that everyone has access to filtered, chilled drinking water virtually nonstop, which means healthy personnel and less sick days.
Water coolers can also be great spots to chill for a few minutes while refreshing yourself, and water cooler conversations often lead to some great bonding, which is good for team morale. These chats around the water cooler can also lead to some interesting conversations about work as well as life in general.
Unfortunately though, some water cooler conversations can also be rather annoying to say the least. Some of the most controversial topics that should generally be avoided include politics and religion, but there are also some other types of conversation that can really irk one:
- Your Perfect Children – All parents love their children and it is normal to brag a bit when your child does something great like taking their first step or winning first place in the school spelling bee, and that is great, but trashing someone else’s child’s achievements to make your child sound better is not on!
- Trashing Your Spouse/Significant Other – We all have problems in our relationships from time to time, but save the trashing of your “better half” for a close friend – this is not “water cooler chat with colleagues” material.
- Divorce Trials and Tribulations – If you are going through a divorce, it is good to mention it so that your colleagues understand if you are a bit distracted, sad or emotional, but please do not go to work every day and give them a play-by-play of every legal and emotional drama. Once again this should be reserved for close friends.
- Co-Workers – Gossiping about your colleagues and co-workers is a definite no-no! Remember, coming up with dirt on others in order to try to be more popular or gain power is divisive and will backfire on you and could even get you fired.
Enjoy your water cooler and make sure that you drink enough water, but watch what you say when taking that little break.