Chatty Cathy

Dear Sugar
I work in a very small office. There are only seven employees including myself. I am the the hiring supervisor. Three of the women that I sit by are extremely chatty to the point of irritation. I re-wrote the employee manual specifically pointing out the topics of appropriate conversation and cell phone use, but my effort was ignored.

When these women talk in the office, it distracts everyone from their work. I don't want to fire them as when they are working they do a great job, but it's becoming a burden for everyone else in the company. Do you have any pointers for how to eliminate this chattiness? Maddened Millie


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Dear Maddened Millie
Mindless chatting in the office is distracting and quite irritating so I understand your frustration with your co-workers. Since you are these women's supervisor, I think talking to them as soon as possible is the right way to go about handling the situation before it gets out of control.

If they are unaware that their chatting is disturbing to others, they won't know to pipe down. Simply let them know that while socializing in the office is acceptable, they are at work to get their job done without distracting other employees from the task at hand.

If you are uncomfortable talking to these women one on one, another option would be to send out a company wide e-mail reminding everyone to be respectful of their co-workers and to keep conversation to a minimum in shared office space. I am sure that after you talk with them, the office will be much a more productive working environment.

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