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Why you shouldn’t have secrets at work

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Here’s another way to boost your productivity levels at work: ensuring you stay away from secrets.

New research by the Columbia Business School shows that keeping secrets sucks up the energy you could be channelling towards other tasks as it preoccupies your mind, using up personal, intellectual and motivational resources.

“Being preoccupied by a secret at work can be demotivating,” said Michael Slepian, co-author of the study.

“The burden of secrecy can make things around you appear more challenging and if you’re less motivated to tackle these challenges, your performance can suffer,” he added.

Using a series of experiments to assess the effect of secrets on the ability of subjects to judge the steepness of a hill, the researchers found that those who found their secrets preoccupying judged the hill to be steeper than it actually was.

The amount of concern the secret causes is found to depend on its severity.

The researchers advised the best way to gain back productivity is to get the burden of the secret off your chest by divulging in a trustworthy friend or using anonymous hotlines or websites.

Image: Shutterstock

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