The cost of small talk to businesses is huge, but worth it, a new study finds.
The average US worker spends 1 hour 58 minutes a day on small talk—equating to a huge $11,918 a year when compared to the median US salary. When calculated against the number of full-time workers in the US, the cost of small talk to businesses amounts to $1.5 trillion a year.
The study of 2,000 full-time workers was carried out by TollFreeForwarding.com, who spoke to employees in both the US and the UK. It found that those in the US engage in more small talk on average, with 13 extra minutes a day spent chatting. Surprisingly, those in the US are more likely to spend time talking about the weather than those in the UK (11 minutes per day vs 9 minutes).
Despite the high monetary cost, the positive mental effects of small talk are huge, showing that it is worth the cost it has on businesses.
· Almost three-quarters (72%) of workers say small talk makes their workplace more bearable.
· Small talk also has a positive effect on employee motivation (67%) and wellbeing (69%). This reduces the chance of staff burnout or resignations—two things that lead to time off and money spent rehiring, which cost more to businesses in the long term.
Small talk also helps strengthen connections in the workplace, leading to better teamwork and stronger client relationships. Over three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed say small talk helps them improve and maintain relationships with their colleagues, while a further 73% said the same for their relationships with clients.
Bosses considering trying to limit small talk should also be careful, as almost 4 in 10 workers (38%) said they’d leave their current job if their employer attempted to limit or reduce small talk. This shows how important it is for employers to create a culture where small talk is encouraged, and acknowledged for the benefits it brings.
Dr Naomi Murphy, D. Clin. Psych, explains why small talk is essential in the workplace:
“Small talk is the glue that keeps colleagues together. It allows us to build relationships and feel more confident in contributing to group discussions. It enables us to see the human being and remind ourselves of the things we like about our colleagues even when we are feeling irritated by their opposition or criticism of our suggestions, liking our colleagues and having good connections with them keeps us emotionally nourished. When work is just a place we go to get tasks done, we are much more likely to feel dissatisfied, which will impact on productivity and make it likely we will move on.”
TollFreeForwarding.com has also created a calculator so employers and employees can see how their small talk compares to the US average. By entering a salary and the average amount of time spent on small talk, you can see exactly how much money your small talk costs.
You can find the full breakdown of data, the small talk calculator, and expert tips on successful small talk on the TollFreeForwarding.com blog.
Company Name: Tollfree Forwarding
Contact Person: Alexandra Neag
Email: Send Email
Phone: +1(347) 763-6933
Address:106 E 6th. STE 900-151
Country: United States