“People also have a tendency not to take breaks communally anymore except for the odd lunch or drinks after work. These trends decrease the opportunity for face-to-face small talk in the workplace.”
“Instead, people use email, instant messaging programme or external blogs or bulletin boards in order to get their fix of chitchat. The social requirement for small talk hasn’t gone away, it’s just moved online.”
“At Headshift we hold the same view. Implementing blogs and other social tools in a work environment allows us to provide individuals with their own voice and the opportunity to connect with colleagues and build relationships using, at least in part, constructive small talk. Creating a way for people to comfortably engage in small talk, and removing the stigma attached to it, will help them create and maintain the sorts of social ties that allow them to both feel more comfortable and function more effectively in the workplace.”
I must admit, the last thing I want to do is go to lunch with my library staff. We all need alone time. That said, every once in a while we do go out to lunch and “shoot the shit” because it is important to not only be social with co-workers, but to get that small talk out. Sometimes it’s not that easy to do this at the workplace itself. Granted, we do chit chat alot, but it often reminds us of something work-related, which, without the small talk, would have been forgotten.
Small talk in the library setting can also bring out comraderie between workers as well as discussion about many aspects of the day to day workings of the library: problem patrons, books that were moved from one place to another, or even how busy the Internet stations are. Small talk can also act as a stress releaver.
Oh, and if you are into social networks, group work, or collaboration, you should grab the RSS Feed for Headshift and place it in your aggregator right now!!