The holidays are sometimes stressful, but it turns out that those office Christmas parties are good for staff morale because they give people a way to open up and share entertaining information about colleagues, form improved social bonds and increase team solidity.
So say the finding from a study done at Staffordshire University which is researching gossip and its affect on the workplace. The study found that people are more relaxed at holiday office parties and others can find out their true nature, plus increase the bonds people form with each other. Since people that work better together helps increase work, it also is a win for the company too if their people learn to work together better.
The research also discovered gossip has psychological benefits such as boosting self esteem. People learn acceptable behavior in different social groups, and then compare themselves to others discover who is a good ally.
Prior research only has shown the negative side of gossip, but there is really very little research that focuses on the benefits. This study found that gossiping about others affects a person’s self esteem either positively or negatively, and that higher levels of gossip are associated with higher levels of self reported social support, especially from friends.”
The findings are based on data from two studies. The first asked 160 participants to answer questions about their tendency to engage in gossip and their apparent social support. The second was done using one of the Staffordshire University graduates, and measured changes in self esteem in 140 participants as a result of engaging in gossip behavior.