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NextGen Magazine


Three Reasons Why Office Small Talk Matters

Jason Wong
Published Date:
Feb 2, 2016

HiResWhen you’re fresh out of high school or college, you might be under the impression that small talk is prohibited during “work time.” After all, most teachers aren’t fond of students chatting during class time. However, according to Fortune, a reasonable amount of small talk may actually increase worker productivity. Here are three reasons why:

  1. It helps shy people out of their shells. If you’re prone to social anxiety, that doesn’t go away just because you’re at work. According to Tim Eisenhauer, president of intranet software maker Axero Solutions, social anxiety can “lead to communications breakdowns that cause errors and inefficiency.” Basically, small talk can be a huge step in overcoming that barrier.
  2. It helps people collaborate. Remember those awkward group projects when you weren’t paired with friends? Sharing personal interests around the water cooler can increase the efficacy of collaboration between coworkers.
  3. It increases productivity. A reasonable amount of small talk everyday can actually boost productivity. Not only can you share problems which your coworkers may have encountered and be able to help with, but “goofing off” can often be the short break your brain needs for its next big idea. After all, do your best thoughts really come when you’re stuck in front of your computer screen for hours at a time?