Business is increasingly about efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. But continuous work focus and keeping everyone in their cubicle does more harm than good. So, is water cooler talk good for business? Aside from all the physical health effects of getting up and walking around throughout the course of the day, as well as the importance of staying hydrated with water, encouraging the chatter can bring in unexpected solutions. Here’s how “water cooler talk” can help your business.
Water Coolers Break Down Silos
Everyone has their own routine in the office. There are the early risers who get to the office before everyone and chat as they turn on the coffee machines and get the first brew. There’s the eight o’clock clog as people start their regularly-scheduled mornings. This shift disperses a little bit as people start to benefit more from going to the break room slightly earlier or later. Then there are the people who are always a bit late and who try to cover it by having a tangentially work-related chat as they stow their lunch in the fridge.
These small, seemingly random groups break down barriers. Instead of just knowing your department and the row next to you, you and your coworkers form connections with people on the other side of the break room. Someone on your team will actually know someone in finance, and someone else knows that one sales rep and doesn’t think they’re that bad. With even a surface-level connection, it’s a lot easier to reach out to other departments.
People will stick around in a crisis.
Everyone has a job to make money. That’s the primary pursuit, and no one would be in the office for free even if they really like their coworkers. But the social dynamic provides a lot of traction. After all, most of us see our coworkers just as much (or maybe more) than we see our families and other friends. If someone’s feeling stressed, they can turn to friendly coworkers and feel more comfortable asking for help. They’re also more likely to reconsider quitting to get away from a miserable boss if they have real connections with their co-workers.
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