I often feel uncomfortable around my co-workers. I don't know if it's okay to talk about stuff other than work-related matter. What is the general rule for workplace socializing?

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    What does everyone else do? In new social settings, it's better to listen for as long as possible before offering any unsolicited statements.
    – user8365
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 13:40

3 Answers 3


Every company has a different culture. However in most cases, people don't care about whether you talk about work or non related questions. Of-course you are expected to talk about work during your working hours. But it would be inhuman to ban occasional random chatting. In fact, random conversations help employees feel more comfortable at work and allows them to work harder.

Personally I'm highly introverted so I dislike small talk. On the other hand, extraverted people thrive on small talk. They gain energy and get excited to work harder.

At work people find it much easier to talk about work-related things. They don't always need to talk about topics that are beneficial towards the company. But the are often still work related. This is not because they have to. It's more likely that this is the most common shared interest that everyone has knowledge about. Therefor it's easier to talk about it.

But in the end, does it matter what you talk about? For as long as you do your job, not really. Again, this is heavily dependent on the company culture.


There isn't really a rule. It depends on the place you work.

I can't really talk with my co workers about work because I am the only one doing that kind of work. My solution is to find common ground on simple things in life (relaxing in the sun, going out [be careful about the information you give about a night out], sport, etc)

Maybe an unspoken rule but avoid big subjects like politics and religion.

NOTE: not everyone is into small talk or random chit-chat. I like quiet most of the time and would rather not be disturbed


It has to do with the "nature of the person" in general. I've met 1st-class crappy people whom I work on a daily basis. Despite trials, I wasn't able to get to socialize with them be it professional/personal. I have seen the complete opposite on a work based trip and it all happened in a very short span.

If you ask a solution, it perhaps doesn't happen in a short time, rather takes a bit of time, if you are still "unhappy" as opposed to uncomfortable, move on to a new job where you meet people of your kind.

So long as they help you professionally, I think it should be ok.

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