Don’t get stressed out from the nine to five grind in the office, take a break once in a while, learn to be social, have fun, laugh and smile. Our society has created a culture of work, work, work and work some more all the time. We are required to stay connected and put in longer hours. Studies have shown being social and disconnecting from the daily grind makes us more productive.
People think that it is wasting time chatting with co-workers or taking a break here and there is seen as goofing off. We are naturally social so why would you want to put yourself in an introvert scenario in the office where you don’t communicate and have fun?
A MIT group lead by Alexander Pentland, Ph.D. created a way of tracking true social engagement. They created an experiment with a Bank of America call center that placed “sociometers” on badges of employees. These “sociometers” were Bluetooth and infrared devices that measured which employees the test subjects talked to and for how long. The experiment lasted one month and then again for six weeks. The results, employees that took time to chat and be social with each other were more productive, got through the calls quicker, received better approval ratings from peers and felt less stressed.
By communicating with each other more, the employees worked out solutions to problems and created a more productive work environment. Bank of America made changes to the call center that allowed for more social interaction between employees and in the end resulted is a $15 million a year production increase. Bank of America created a non-structured environment in which the staff could have free time to communicate and that resulted in better results across the board.
Take this concept to your events and think about the ways you have your attendees being social and connecting. Do you provide enough downtime or is your event so schedule heavy that it is a go, go, go atmosphere. People want downtime to connect and think. Jackie Mulligan wrote about this exact concept in the new issue of One+ from MPI. She went on to note, “Combinational play – playing with ideas and combining concepts in new ways – was recognized by Einstein as the fuel for productive thought”.
People feel good when they can chat, it relieves stress, allows people to collaborate on thoughts and create solutions. In the work place, at events and even on social media, take time to be social because in the end it’s proven you will become more productive.