I returned to work after being sick and for the first few hours of showing up…no one said a word to me. I didn’t get asked about my thoughts on the weather. on how I was feeling, or on what I think about who is in the Super Bowl. Nothing.
I work an environment where talking isn’t exactly encouraged. It makes sense in one way, because the role I play in my company is one that requires you to make few mistakes, if any at all. When you make mistakes, the shit hits the fan.At least, that’s how it feels.
The environment where I sit includes two coworkers in my department who wear headphones all day, and two on the other side of my cubicle wall, who aren’t in my department, who swear and talk trash while they work. This doesn’t bring out my “sharing” side.
The other people in my department never come by my desk to chat, and I rarely chat in the break room with them. Simply because I either never see them (most sit on the other side of the room) or their response is so awkward I don’t find that usual chit chat as fun anymore.
The reality is…when I’ve been at a job where I can talk and joke with coworkers, I am happier. Even if I talk only a little bit. Because then I’m more connected to who I work around and suddenly, it becomes less about being a machine going in, and more about being a person too.
Management should encourage a “talking” environment. Relate with your employees and encourage relations between them. Set up seating arrangements so people can talk to others in their department. Limit the amount of emails sent and eliminate internet messenger for employees all together. Encourage actual talking. It will make for better employees and coworkers in the long run.