Employers should consider a sociable workplace with healthy gossip as "crucial to the bottom line" instead of seeing it as the "antithesis to efficiency and productivity", according to research by the Industrial Society published today.
Its report New Community or New Slavery? The Emotional Division of Labour identifies a growing gap between "willing workers" who find their jobs rewarding and the "wage slaves" - generally those in front line service jobs or in clerical or secretarial jobs.
Judith Doyle, author of the report, said, "What makes the difference between a good job and a bad job are the intrinsic, emotional elements. People want a job that matches their skills and abilities and where they find recognition and respect."
She added, "Gossip is the cement which holds organisations together. Providing communal space such as coffee areas or lunchroom, allows employees to share information, knowledge and build relations that benefits both company and the employee."
by Lisa Bratby