I've noticed we've recently received a lot of questions (will gather some examples after this) that involve issues on workplace.

How to tell someone what position they really are, instead of acting high and mighty whil higher ups don't care about them?
This one seems can only be solved by talking to the management.

How to approach the owner's handicapped son about him distracting our work?
I'm a bit mixed with my own question. I'm not sure if this fits the "new scope" (if it is applied).

Enforcing to be treated respectfully
I think this one should be in Workplace instead, because the Workplace atmosphere is stronger than IPS.

How to redirect a real-life help vampire to an alternate source of food... um... assistance? I have a mixed feeling here, but confronting the colleague seems a good option, so this has a chance to stay on-topic on IPS.

How to approach someone about stepping down from their position?
This one can receive better answers on Workplace.

While I agree that being on-topic in Workplace does not make a question off-topic here, I feel we need to draw a line on questions that can be solved by talking to the management or OP's superior.

tl;dr If a question has more Workplace atmosphere than Interpersonal Skills, it should be off-topic. But where do we draw the line?

Related: Should workplace related questions involving communication be on-topic?

  • 5
    When thinking about this question, try mentally swapping in "landlord" or "police officer" or "teacher" for "manager" and see if your answer changes. If it does, that might indicate that you're declining questions only because we have another site that might handle them, as opposed to because they're objectively off-topic. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:06
  • 4
    Please allow me to elaborateSE's official position. If it's on topic for both sites, it's perfectly ok to keep it where it was asked. There is a lot of overlap on sites I follow (Biology/Health, Biology/CogSci, etc.) Some questions may get a better answer on another site, but it doesn't mean it must be migrated. I think NVZ's answer is key: Comment and let the OP know there's another site that might be better suited, and let them make the decision. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 14:35
  • I was just reading about this. Official link for anyone interested: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64068/… Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


As an addition to Jarko's good answer, my reply to Vylix's follow-up question in a comment:

So what do you recommend for us to do with questions that fits more with your 3rd paragraph? Just leave a comment and let the OP decide what to do with the question?

I have on many occasions, left a comment for OPs informing them that there is such a site in our network that is better equipped for questions about the workplace. I just mention something like this:

We have another site called the Workplace, better equipped to answer this question. Your question is okay here, but if you'd like to move it there... (etc.)

I don't usually vote to close in this regard. It's all up to them.

(note: this is not a standalone answer, but an addition to Jarko's.)

  • +1 because it's not only about the environment in which the scenario is taking place, but what the user hopes to gain from their forum posting. Do they want advice on how to interact in a workplace situation? IPS. Do they want advice on an action they need to take in the workplace to achieve some sort of goal? Maybe they'd receive better advice from Workplace.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 21:29

To me, IPS seems to be about interacting with other people. These interactions can be in a professional workplace setting. This would indeed make the question on-topic on both websites.

I think that whether IPS can answer the question better than workplace depends on what the goal is of the OP. Do they care about the relationship side of things? Is their focus on being polite, avoiding conflict, convincing someone, then sure, we could answer that.

If the question is more aimed towards career goals, things that might affect someones job, relationship with their employer, relationship with their coworkers or anything else in the work-environment, the Workplace has vastly more experience with these issues and answering them.

I don't think that the latter examples really make the question off-topic here, but we should really encourage users to move their workspace-related questions there.

  • So what do you recommend for us to do with questions that fits more with your 3rd paragraph? Just leave a comment and let the OP decide what to do with the question?
    – Vylix
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:13
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    @Vylix Closing those questions would require making them explicitly off-topic. Im not sure if that is something we should do.
    – JAD
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 18:46

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