HR Strange But True!
July 11, 2003

We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange...

More chitchat!

Whether this is good news or bad news for the workplace, we'll let you decide: A series of studies at the University of Michigan has found that schmoozing at the watercooler is good for your brain, specifically when it comes to memory and decision-making ability.

In one study of 3,600 Americans, the Michigan researchers found that the more people visited with others, the better their memory performance. In another study of nearly 2,000 older residents in four Middle Eastern countries, it was discovered that the more social they were, the more they participated in everyday decision-making.

For managers who doubt the virtues of socializing on the job, lead researcher and psychologist Oscar Ybarra argues that our technical prowess depends on our social intelligence. "In studies of primates and other mammals, the size of the brain has been correlated with the size of the social group the animals typically form," he told Working Mother magazine.

He adds: "To some extent, the human mind evolved to deal with social problems. So when we exercise our minds that way, it's not surprising that there are benefits for us downstream."

Source: Working Mother

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