Have You Heard!? Office Gossip Boosts Productivity

We’ve got some juicy news for all of you who just love a good gossip sesh. Psychologists at the University of Amsterdam found office chichat can actually up productivity in the work force.

You probably already know that gossip boosts levels of serotonin but feel-good hormones aren’t the reason for better work results — fear is.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, found slackers pick up their game if they fear becoming the subject of their peers’ conversations.

Dr Bianca Beersma, one of the study’s authors said “When there is a threat of gossip in the group, [slackers] become more motivated to contribute to the group.”

In an experiment, participants were given lottery tickets and asked to decide how many to keep and how many to donate to a group. When the participants knew their reactions would be spoken about, they returned a larger quantity of tickets.

“Speech makes it possible for group members to warn each other against those who do not behave in accordance with the group’s norms,” the authors wrote, and found that many participants choose to talk about lazy coworkers — enough of a reason for people to watch their back.

So the next time your boss gets on your case about chitchatting by the office cooler, you’ll have the perfect excuse.

For more on the study, click here.

Feature Image: guardian.co.uk

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