Some employment industry members have highlighted the overly-chatty boss as a potential drain on productivity.

A recent poll from a recruitment marketing firm has revealed that the office chatterbox has taken the conversation too far for 63 per cent of respondents, with a majority saying they were able to politely ask them to stop, and some saying they had to resort to aggression before they could get back to work.

The managing director of recruitment marketers Employment Office, Tudor Marsden-Huggins says a small amount of yakking around the water cooler can help productivity through positive relationship-building, but there is definitely such as thing as too much talk: “A manager needs to be in touch with their team, knowing just the point at which chat stops being something that energises the team, and turns into something that actually drains workers... anyone in a leadership role who wants the respect of their team members should never, ever say anything about another staff member that they wouldn't say to their face. If you share your frustration about one staff member with another person in your team, you'll never be able to regain that respect.”

Nicole Reaney from Sydney’s InsideOut PR says no-one likes a leaker, especially if the information could tarnish somebody’s reputation in the office.

Ms Reaney says, “anything that hasn't been publicly communicated or you don't have authority to release, such as an illness, pregnancy, organisational changes such as a restructure or merger, or a new product release, should never be discussed... you may confide information in one person, but in reality you have no control over the subsequent spread of that information.”

HR manager Jane Bartrum says if in doubt, fall back on classic topics; “Just talk about the weather with your colleagues. That will always keep you out of trouble.”