Here's How Water Cooler Taboos Are Changing at Work

The things you (theoretically) decline to bring up at dinner parties are generally the same you should avoid at work: sex, religion, and politics. Yet according to a new survey, we definitely don't follow our own advice.

The website InsuranceQuotes asked more than 1,000 Americans of all ages and industries what they felt was and should be off limits at the office. Some answers make sense across the board: Drug use and gossip about a co-worker follow sex life to round out the top three, although relationship issues were the third most frequently discussed topic reported. Others, however, seemed to be more a function of age. Issues like gender identity and sexual orientation may not seem so strange or threatening to millennials.

Survey respondents also rated salary or income high on their list of no-go zones. More and more, women and other non-cisgender male workers are pushing for transparency in wages to address a chronic misalignment in how different genders accumulate wealth. Obviously no one likes a braggart, especially when it seems to reinforce workplace disparities, but all employees should get comfortable with talking more frankly about money, particularly when you're in a place to negotiate.

The InsuranceQuotes survey asked more questions about stressing out about political differences and which industries are the most and least concerned with propriety in workplace conversations. (Apparently working in a scientific field is one of the best options for those who want to chat about anything and everything!) Check out the full results and see how your office stacks up.