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People working in HR are the most likely to talk about their personal lives in the office, according to poll results revealed today.
Employees in the HR department are more likely to tell a secret to a workmate than any of their other colleagues, claims a survey of 2,000 office staff.
On average, 34 per cent of UK workers have divulged a private matter to a co-worker, compared to 38 per cent of HR professionals, found the office communication study.
The survey, commissioned by Mars Drinks Office Connections, found that HR professionals spent an average of 29 minutes every day chatting to colleagues about non-work related subjects.
Family news was the main topic of conversation, followed by celebrity gossip and the previous night’s TV viewing.
Other popular topics of conversation included the weather, relationships, money and health issues.
In general, two-thirds of the HR workers surveyed believed that technology had not made communicating in the office any easier. One in six preferred to chat face-to-face with colleagues, while a third favoured the telephone or email.
The findings also revealed that 54 per cent of HR respondents felt that it was acceptable to add kisses to the end of work related emails, and 75 per cent thought ‘smiley faces’ and other emoticons were suitable to include.
However using terms such as ‘love’, ‘pet’ and ‘babe’ when referring to colleagues was deemed unacceptable by three-quarters of those canvassed.
Commenting on the research results, Jenni Morgan, trade marketing manager for Mars Drinks Office Connections, said: “While emails, phone calls and even social media are certainly common ways for people to communicate with each other in the office, it’s encouraging to see that staff are taking the time to step away from their desks and engage with their colleagues in a more personal way.
“Not only is this great for nurturing working relationships, but it can also help make us more productive and create a much more positive and happy office environment.”
I am very surprised to read that 54% of HR respondents felt that it was acceptable to add kisses to the end of work-related emails! It is all too easy for email correspondence to be misconstrued and potentially lead to workplace disputes and I would expect HR professionals to lead by example in this area.
I wonder whether it is appropriate for such very anecdotal information to be published on the People Management website? 2000 people participating is hardly conclusive. My organisation employs around 2000 people.
I agree with Jenni. Personally, I would say that the 29 mins chat every day is healthy. Look at it from another perspective, it is just another way of team building/bonding. As office is the second place besides home that we spend most of our time, to be able to do so with our co-workers must not be taken for granted. I'm now experiencing the great difference between my ex-company where we were a great bunch, (no team building activities required on an annual basis because we are bonding everyday) versus my current office which is a dead bunch to the extent that no team activity could help as they are simply not keen at all. There is just nothing to look forward to every morning you wake up. Thus, I would said it is healthy (better than gossiping) and also a great cost saving to the company in terms of staff retention, low recruitment and advertising cost, less disruption to operations, etc.