Workplaces Becoming More Silent

September 21, 2006 ( - The increasing use of email as a form of communication is creating a more silent workplace, according to a new UK study.

A report from the Web site said one in five survey respondents reported they use email to gossip with coworkers about other colleagues. Almost half said they even email the person sitting next to them to avoid conversation.

The average office now sends 3,840 emails from work every year, according to the news report – the equivalent of 158,064 messages over a typical working lifetime. The typical office worker spends 27 minutes a day emailing friends and family, sending an average of 288 personal messages each year, which amounts to 37% of all emails sent by office workers.

It’s not just emails causing the silent office trend, the study showed. One-in-five respondents confessed to dropping a text to their boss instead of calling in sick, and one-in-five employees said they regularly plug themselves into MP3 players at their desks.

While respondents agreed the most common need for tunes was to relieve boredom at work one-in-20 confessed they listen to music to stop colleagues from speaking to them.

The poll of 2,000 office workers was conducted by staffing specialists The Corporate Services Group PLC.

Another recent survey concluded that workers believe music boosts their job satisfaction and productivity levels (See Music Boosts Worker Satisfaction and Productivity ).