Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Talking business outside of the office

 Have you ever been out at a restaurant and while enjoying your meal you can identify where the people next to you work based on what they are saying?

Talking business outside the office can be a bit of a challenge, but there are several things that you can do to ensure that others around you don’t know where you work or if you are a consulting who your clients are. I know if you are wearing a company uniform or shirt it is a little harder to prevent that identification, but if you are just out, there are quite a few things that you can do to keep others from knowing where you work.

Here are some of the ideas that we have done:

  • Never refer to the company by name, either use a code name for the company or just don’t say the name of the company.
  • If talking about a department or client, use a person’s name instead of key targeting information. In several cases, we use a key person’s first name when we are talking about an issue when we are out in public. It lets us know who we are talking about, but it doesn’t identify the company or anything like that.
  • Talk general terms and not specific terms, if you are talking about an email system, just say email instead of Outlook, or anything like that. The server types can also be something that you can hide by just referring to “the servers” instead of a specific identifier.
  • Keep work talk to a minimum when out in public, as that is the easiest way to prevent issues.

I know that there are times that you need to talk business, especially if you are out for a meal with a client or people from the company. Just keeping specific terms out of the conversation can make it so much better. If you are in IT, it is important to not mention the email system that the company uses because just saying that can help a hacker target the company a little easier. It is just the simple changes that you can make in your communication that can help hide a client or a company name.

It is always a challenge when you are out in public and you either need to talk business or something you remember needs to be mentioned. Making sure that you can figure out a way of doing the communication without giving away key information is very important. We have got into the habit so much that even when we are at home, we quite often use the same way to communicate unless we need to talk specific items.

Talking business outside the office is something that we all do, but remember if you are talking bad about someone you don’t know who is near you. You may give enough away to identify the person and someone near you might just know that person as well, so it is best to keep that conversation very general or better yet do it in private.