Maxwell Stephens

Things You Should Never Say At Work


In the workplace, what you say and how you say it has a huge impact on how you are perceived by your colleagues and your boss. The way you communicate around the office can show a lot, for example; your character, your commitment/enjoyment in your job, your interest in helping other people and your attitudes.

‘Things’ you should never say at work may range from specific phrases that could most certainly be defined by a face palm or topics that should just simply not be brought up in conversation, here are a few of the most common unprofessional phrases you shouldn’t be saying in the workplace…



Realistically we all know not every aspect of work is enjoyable and not every aspect of work can be approached with the same level of enthusiasm, this is perfectly normal. However, the way these opinions are voiced can raise significant red flags to the boss. Not caring about an aspect of your work can cause your employer to wonder whether if you are committed. Rather than admitting you don’t really care about the task at hand, the job that failed, or your colleagues personal issues, keep that to yourself. It goes back to the old saying “if you have nothing nice to say…. then don’t say anything at all”. Listen to the problems, take criticism and keep working on that task no matter how daunting it is.


Yes you may be overloaded with tasks and feel like the world is coming down on you but the chances are, you’re not the only one in the organisation in the same position. Rather than stating “I’m too busy”, just let your colleagues know the tasks you have on and even the time you need to complete certain tasks. Using the phrase ‘I’m too busy’ is inherently negative, and could even call into question your commitment and willingness to complete tasks, or cause employers to doubt your ability to work under pressure. Either be honest and ask for some help or knuckle down and get the work done, don’t sit stranded and proclaim you are too busy, as this will not yield positive results from anyone’s perspective.


Well it may be the way YOU have always done it, but you need to flexible and adaptable to the needs and working methods of the organisation. Pitch your ideas and opinions in a respectful manner but do not take it upon yourself to change the practices of the business, especially when it involves your boss. Finding the best, most efficient way to complete tasks may be very useful, however you should get the go ahead for those ideas before putting them into practice. Changing the methodology in the way your employer runs things things may be seen as disrespectful and arrogant. When in a role for a business you must do everything to adopt their ways, if it is not for you then maybe it’s time to look for another job.


There are instances when this is a very valid sentiment to have, although you need to understand that sometimes you have to step in and pick up extra workload. If one-off tasks that aren’t part of your job description become an ongoing chore, then you are well within your rights to bring it up to your employer in a professional manner, however team work is a vital ingredient to business success, openly stating ‘That’s not my job’ will more likely than not negatively affect both employer and colleague perceptions of you.


This phrase or any phrase remotely along the lines of this should simply never be voiced in whatever workspace your part of. Your colleagues may not be your best friends or even people you get along with, but any legitimate grievances should be rectified through the proper professionals channels, not whispers at the water cooler. You may start the generate the image as the ‘office gossip’ or that you like to spread rumours. Regardless of the topic, it’s best to not talk about people/issues behind their backs, especially in the workplace. From our perspective and experience working in the recruitment industry for so long, the best way to deal with office politics is simply not to actively participate in them.

More Posts...