Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today, Lindsay and Michelle discuss the top taboos to look out for in American workplace culture!


A taboo is something that is improper or unacceptable based on culture or region.  Different companies might have their own taboos, but most American workplaces probably have many of the same ones.

An article by Barbara Mason outlines the biggest of these taboos.  Here are a few of them, and how to avoid them:

  • Spreading rumors: To spread a rumor is to make up an untrue story about somebody, and tell it to others.  Americans tend to look down on people who do this.  If you want to be trusted and have positive relationships, avoid gossip!
  • Taking credit for another’s work: This means telling others that you did the work or achieved a success when, in fact, somebody else did.  Again, Americans won’t trust anybody suspected of doing this, so don’t do it.
  • Falling asleep at work: It may not be natural to be completely energized for 8 straight hours, but at minimum your boss will expect you to be awake.  Try taking a break from your desk, going for a short walk or stepping outside to refresh yourself.
  • Lying about an academic background: Honesty is very important to American bosses.  If you lie about your academic background, you’re likely to be fired when you get caught. The best thing to do is to present the academic background that you do have in the best possible way.


What are the top workplace taboos where you live?

Tell us all about them in the comments section below!

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