worry if the office gossips discuss the strength of the boss’s marriage in the
canteen – it means that they are on the road to becoming more productive.
research by the Industrial Society, called New Community or New Strategy?,
suggests that employers should encourage sociability. Gossip is the cement that
holds organisations together, it claims. The answer is to provide communal
space such as coffee areas and allow employees to build relations that can
benefit the company.
Spiers, an occupational stress councillor and chairwoman of the International
Stress Management Association, agrees with the report. With e-mail culture and
more people working in isolation, she claims, people miss “coffee machine
people spending longer hours at work, employers have a greater responsibility
to encourage sociability and peer group support.