How Much is Too Much in the Workplace?

Have you ever wondered whether you share a little too much information at work? It's difficult not to share personal information with your work colleagues, considering the amount of time you spend together and the relationships you've built with them. Chances are we're all guilty of TMI in the workplace, this sharing of information, however, can easily damage a reputation.

There are a number of reasons why you probably shouldn't share too much personal information with your co-workers. One of them being that they may feel burdened by your issues, particularly if they don't feel comfortable keeping your secrets. This can be slightly awkward, and you run the risk of having your personal information shared with other colleagues. The truth is, you can't expect people to keep a secret for you, especially if they have no genuine interest in doing so.

Another reason is that sharing too much information can expose your weaknesses. If you have a position at work that requires you to exhibit assertiveness and control, such as a supervisory role, then this will affect the way your co-workers see you. It's easy for your colleagues to use your 'weaknesses' against you, which can make your experience at work difficult. You can't unsay secrets, so it's important to really consider what you share before you do. If you were hoping for a promotion, openly discussing personal matters with your colleagues doesn’t paint you in a positive light; in the eyes of your manager, you’re not working efficiently. As well as this, the likelihood of being promoted can be further reduced if the manager is aware of difficult circumstances that could affect your work ethic.

On the other hand, some would argue that although the work setting isn't the best place for private chit-chat, there's always lunchtime. But is it okay to share private information with a work colleague even when you're not in the work place? In this case, the decision as to whether or not you maintain some privacy depends on the level of trust you have with your work colleague.

As with all situations, it's totally up to you.  The amount of information you choose to share with your work colleagues will vary from person to person. However, the consequences of what is done with the information you share is yours to deal with. Although every work environment differs, it's important to establish that fine line between the 'work you' and the 'private you.'


Edited by Georgina Varley