HR worst at leaving personal life at home

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The average HR professional spends half an hour a day talking about their home life while in the office, and more than a third have shared a secret with a colleague.

It seems when it comes to keeping work time professional, HR is trailing the rest. A recent survey found that while 34% of UK workers have discussed a private matter with a co-worker, 38% of HR pros had done the same.

Family news, celebrity gossip and TV viewing all made the list of hot topics, while the weather, relationships, money and health also rated top mentions, the Mars Drinks Office Connections’ survey of 2,000 workers found.

However, this propensity to share isn’t necessarily a bad thing – studies have also found that a small amount of personal discussion or gossip at work is instrumental in forming bonds and breaking down barriers.

So if you’re looking to build relationships at work then sharing some personal details may be a good thing, however, be mindful of not overstepping the barrier by ‘oversharing’. Consider how much your colleagues share about their lives before you start talking about your partner, kids or health.

The findings also revealed that 54% of HR professionals thought kisses in emails were okay, and 75% approved of smiley faces. Yet this goes against another recent UK survey from Staples that found 66% of people disapproved of kisses and 44% thought smileys were a bad look.


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  • Gabriele Wehler on 31/08/2012 2:07:01 p.m.

    from the psychological viewpoint I believe that NOT separating personal from work life is emotionally beneficial as people feel supported. Sharing means also releasing; releasing eases tension and increases focus. It would be interesting to research whether HR professionals are less prone to stress compared to their colleagues who don't share their personal life.

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