Workers must chat during tea breaks!

Posted on Fri March 8, 2013.

Do you think workers must chat during tea breaks?
Every company who books a team building session at the Vaalnest Boutique Hotel in Vaal Marina, Vaal Dam have the same motive: They want high-performing teams. Workers with energy, creativity, and shared commitment that will surpass other teams.
MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory did some research and found these dynamics are observable, quantifiable, and measurable.
“And, perhaps most important, teams can be taught how to strengthen them.”
One of the most interesting facts their research has shown, is something some companies tend to forget: social communication between workers.
I spoke to a worker at a law firm this week and she told me they were informed that no informal communication will be allowed in work time anymore.
“We were told we are there to work. Not to be social. I feel it only de motivated us,” she said.
And she is right, according to the research the key to a high performance team actually does lie in the social interaction in a team.
Researchers make an important point: It is not about the content of a team’s discussions but the manner in which they are communicating positively that matters.
“Yet little of the research on team building had focused on communication. Suspecting it might be crucial, we decided to examine it more deeply,” a spokesperson of the research team says.
There were a remarkable consistency in the research amongst a variety of companies. Communication was found to be the most important predictor of a team’s success.
“Not only that, but they are as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined.”
The best predictors of productivity seems to be were a team engages outside formal meetings!
A bank group used in the research revised the employees of one of the branches’ coffee break schedule so that everyone on a team took a break at the same time.
“That would allow people more time to socialise with their teammates, away from their workstations.”
And it worked!
The manager decided to change the schedule of coffee breaks at all the branches!