Office Small Talk

Whether you like it or not, small talk is something that everyone engages in from time to time, if only because it's preferable to an awkward silence. But how do people feel about small talk in the office? We conducted a survey of UK employees to see what the general consensus is.

Small Talk in the Office: Survey Results

Interestingly, 81% of those surveyed - a big majority - found small talk in the office to be generally irritating. Does this figure surprise you? Let's take a look at some of the conversation topics that people voted MOST annoying when it comes to office small talk.

  • According to our survey, children and football were the most irritating topics of all.

  • Forced pleasantries, such as wishing colleagues a Happy New Year on the first day back at work, were voted irritating by 29% of respondents.

  • Trash talking one's colleagues was found irritating by 36% of respondents.

  • 23% of those surveyed agreed that conversations about evenings and weekends were annoying.

  • 17% of people don't like talking to their colleagues about the weather.

So why does office small talk persist despite the fact that so many people seem to dislike it?

Well, some find that small talk lessens feelings of awkwardness and makes the working environment feel more relaxed. Others may just enjoy it as a distraction from work!

We think this has been an interesting insight into the opinions of employees when it comes to small talk - do you think the results would be similar in your office?

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