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how to stop excessive talking in the workplace

Some people would argue that chit-chat in the workplace makes for a more friendly environment, but where do you draw the line between a bit of general chatter and a continuous distraction? As an employer, you might have noticed that some of your employees talk more than others, and you might need to tell them that they're talking too much! Today we're going to look at the pros and cons of talking in the workplace and help you deal with talking that's become excessive. 

The problems with excessive talking in the workplace

If you've found your way to this blog, you're probably already noticing that excessive talking is becoming a problem in your workplace. When your employees are wasting hours each day discussing the weather, their favourite tv shows, football scores or other things that are unrelated to their work, it can become a serious problem. As an employer, you expect your employees to work effectively throughout the day. This means focusing on work for prolonged periods (with the occasional bit of chatter in between).

Allowing your employees to talk excessively throughout the day can lead to:

  • Lower quality of completed work
  • An increasing number of arguments and disagreements
  • Poorer relationships with clients due to delayed responses
  • Lower productivity & reduced attention span

Chances are if you're dealing with an excessive talking problem in the workplace then you know who the culprits are. There are often one or two people who are keen to chatter all day long. This encourages other people (who might normally be quiet and productive) to get involved in conversations because they can no longer concentrate on their work. When it becomes a problem for the whole workplace, you might need to address the excessive talking head-on.

Ways to tackle excessive workplace talking

 

1. Provide gentle reminders of deadlines. This will help re-focus the minds of the nosiest people in the office so that they're concentrating on important pieces of work. Some people may have forgotten that a deadline is looming.

2. Make sure everyone has plenty to do. One of the main reasons why people become over-talkative in the office is because they're bored. By ensuring there's enough work for everyone to do, you can reduce excessive workplace talking.

3. Speak to the talkative employees in private. While it's not advised that you give staff members a public dressing-down, it can be useful to talk to them about their excessive talking in private. This might be the reminder they need to boost their productivity again.

4. Change the seating plan. If you find that a few members of staff chatter amongst themselves, it might be wise to separate them. Alternatively, you could move the more productive people to a quieter space in the office where they won't be so distracted.

5. Allow a few extra breaks for socialising. Instead of allowing workplace chatter throughout the day, why not give your employees an additional 10 or 20-minute break throughout the day. Let them know that this time can be used for chatter as long as they remain focused throughout the rest of the day.

6. Use people's skills to your advantage. If you have people in the office who don't have much to do and love to chat, perhaps you could use these skills in other areas of the company. Could they answer the phones, catch up with clients or focus on gaining new leads. All of these jobs might help them use their extrovert personalities in a more productive way.

7. Allow people to wear headphones. The employees that feel they're constantly distracted by excessive workplace chatter, might find it easier to concentrate when they've got a pair of headphones on. Some headphones come with a noise-cancelling feature that will help to drown out the excessive noise.

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