Remote working is here to stay, although many workers miss the interaction shared in the office with colleagues on a daily basis.
Chit chat is an integral part of office culture, from conversations geared around weekend activities, to family matters and health concerns.
Now hybrid working is the norm, the need for a healthy blend of interaction with colleagues and quiet work time has been found essential for the over all wellbeing of staff.
A recent survey of 1,000 UK office workers focused on where they catch up with their colleagues, the types of favours asked of them while working, how many print personal documents while at work, and awareness of office products.
The study showed that the top six office areas for catching up with colleagues include their desk (50 per cent), a co-worker’s desk (29 per cent), in the kitchen (29 per cent), and the canteen (19 per cent), while 12 per cent natter at the printer or scanner and eight per cent at the water cooler.
Among different age groups, 53 per cent of workers aged 45 to 54 prefer to catch up at their desk. Eighteen to 24 year olds stop by their co-worker’s desk (38 per cent), and 36 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds chat in the office kitchen.
Cities where workers are most likely to catch up at colleagues’ desks are Worcester at 64 per cent, Wolverhampton at 55 per cent and Gloucester at 42 per cent.
And the cities where workers are most likely to chat in the office kitchen are all in Wales: Swansea at 56 per cent, Aberystwyth at 50 per cent and Cardiff at 45 per cent.
Cities where workers are most likely to speak in the canteen were Aberystwyth at 50 per cent, Brighton at 40 per cent and Sheffield at 30 per cent.
Lastly, the cities where workers are most likely to have a chat with their co-workers by the water cooler were Aberdeen at 25 per cent, Brighton at 23 per cent and Swansea at 22 per cent.
The top five favours office workers are likely to ask their colleagues were revealed as asking for a cup of tea or coffee, requesting a print-off, waiting for a lunch break, helping with printer settings and requesting a lift home. Over a third ask printer related questions.
Favours asked of co-workers in terms of age revealed 18 to 24 year olds are most likely to be asked to make a cup of tea or coffee (38 per cent). They are also the most likely to be asked to print something off (36 per cent) and be asked by workmates to wait for them to take a lunch break (41 per cent).
It was revealed 77 per cent of office workers admit to printing personal documents at work.
Eighteen to 24 year olds are most likely to use the office printer for personal use. The over 65 age group are most conscientious with 33 per cent stating they never print their own documents on the office printer.
It was then ascertained whether office workers know the difference between ink and toner. Simply put, ink is wet and toner is dry. This is because during the toner-based printing process, the dry toner is pressed and fused onto the paper, which means that it is quite literally soaked into the page.
On average only 36 per cent of UK office workers knew the difference between ink and toner, while 29 per cent admitted that they weren’t sure.
The study was carried out by Cartridge Save, https://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ and followed a report on remote working by Deloitte, that discovered 45 per cent of office workers miss the social interaction of the office.