Is Socializing a Waste of Time?

I read with a mixture of interest and amusement an article referencing a study done by OfficeTeam/ Robert Half International about whether socializing at work around the water cooler is a waste of time.

Predictably, workers said no.  Predictably, managers said yes.  The answer, of course, is YES…and NO.  This is a silly study.  As with any study, it’s easy to skew the numbers.  The answers vary, depending upon the context in which it’s discussed and your point of reference. 

Certainly, socializing can be a waste of time.  Thirty minutes spent chatting about your aunt Sally’s surgery could qualify as a non-value producing activity.  However, not all socializing is a waste of time.  Some is needed for bonding…comraderie…team building…relationship.  There comes a certain point in the conversation when it crosses your mind, "Okay, I’ve been here long enough.  Time to move on."  That’s when you should wrap up and not spend another ten minutes winding down.  If more people would listen to thier intuition, we wouldn’t have to have time-wasting studies such as these.