By Daniel Hunter

Office workers spend an average of 27 minutes and 47 seconds gossiping with colleagues a day, according to a new study. This amounts to the average office worker spending an entire working week every year enjoying a good chinwag with colleagues.

The report, which was commissioned by Mars Drinks Office Connections and surveyed 2,000 office staff, discovered that family was the favourite topic of discussion, followed by conversations about last night’s TV. Sports was the third most popular topic, while one in ten insisted they enjoyed banter about making a brew of tea or coffee more than anything else.

Other hot topics of conversation include the Great British weather, celebrity gossip, food, relationships, money, children and health issues.

A third of all office workers confessed that they had told a colleague a secret in the past and two thirds said they enjoyed having a chinwag about other people they worked with.

While UK office workers enjoy a good natter, the majority (58.85%) of staff believe that technology has not made communicating in the office any easier and a quarter insist that email and social media have actually made office communication more difficult.

Half still prefer to chat face-to-face with colleagues, a quarter like to email and one in eight insist the phone is their favourite mode of contact.

Speaking about the results of the research, Jenni Morgan, trade marketing manager for Mars Drinks Office Connections, said: “Who doesn’t love a good natter in the office, especially over a nice cup of tea or coffee, and it’s great this research shows that people still value talking to their colleagues face-to-face, rather than from behind a screen.

“While emails, phone calls and even social media are certainly common ways for people to communicate with each other in the office, it’s encouraging to see that staff are taking the time to step away from their desks and engage with their colleagues in a more personal way. Not only is this great for nurturing working relationships, but it can also help make us more productive and create a much more positive and happy office environment.”

When it comes to digital communication, more than half (54%) think it is acceptable to put kisses on the end of work related emails and three quarters believe it is also fine to add smiley faces or other emoticons.

But terms such as ‘love’, ‘pet’ and ‘babe’ when referring to colleagues are not deemed acceptable by the vast majority of staff, with three quarters insisting they are not expressions that should be used in the workplace.

Two fifths believe the office has become a much less formal place and a third say they have more fun at work now than they ever did before.

Jenni Morgan, trade marketing manager for Mars Drinks Office Connections, added: “The office environment has really changed over the past decade and it is always interesting to see how those changes affect staff. It is great to discover that many workers are having more fun than ever before, and one imagines this is linked to the fact that offices have generally become less formal, which is a welcome development.”

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