1 In 7 Work Emails Is Gossip, Study Says

gossip email at workBy Ashley Lutz

According to a new study, the average corporate employee sends 112 emails a day. And at least 17 of those are gossip.

The Georgia Tech study by Eric Gilbert examined 600,000 emails from an Enron database and found that 15 percent of the infamous company's emails were "gossip." Gilbert defines gossip as talk that involves a third party not in the conversation. The level of gossip prevailed at all levels, from junior employee to CEO, even though lower-level employees tended to circulate information to more people. And researchers found the gossip was overwhelmingly negative:

Workplace gossip is common at all levels of the organizational hierarchy, with people most likely to gossip with their peers. Moreover, employees at the lowest level play a major role in circulating it. Second, gossip appears as often in personal exchanges as it does in formal business communication. Third, by deriving a power-law relation, we show that it is more likely for an email to contain gossip if targeted to a smaller audience. Finally, we explore the sentiment associated with gossip email, finding that gossip is in fact quite often negative: 2.7 times more frequent than positive gossip.

Here's a chart showing that gossip tends to stay in the same organizational rank:

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Don't worry emails have gone the way of the dinosaurs regarding gossip...even 5 years ago instant messaging and text messages were the way to go....

June 11 2012 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And tworkers still want to get paid a higher wage ? Do your work instead of gossiping and you might deserve more money. Its a good thing you don't work for me, get caught once wasting time sending gossip emails and your through.

June 10 2012 at 9:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

That's nothing new.

June 10 2012 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would never gossip through e mail or anything that there is a permanent record for. I would save it for the copier or the water cooler, or coffee break.

June 10 2012 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pcfriar66's comment

Before you tell me what you heard about so and so let me tell you what I heard about you.

June 11 2012 at 3:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would never send gossip at a job.

June 10 2012 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anybody believe this garbage study? The average person sends 112 emails per day? Do the math; that would be just over 14 per hour. If it took 3 minutes to compose and send each email, that would be almost 45 minutes per hour writing emails. Add to that the time to read replies or read before responding, and that is all an employee would be doing.

June 10 2012 at 5:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to societybewary's comment

It's amazing what people will believe. Look what they believed they were getting when they voted Obama into the White House. Never underestimate the stupidity of the majority.

June 10 2012 at 11:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I send e-mails at work, but none of them are gossip. Some are jokes, most are about asking a boss about something, if Ill work overtime or about a product. Keep it simple save the gossip for get togeathers. ( LOL )

June 10 2012 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Strange, Only 1 in 7 News stories is NOT gosip.

June 08 2012 at 8:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What else is new. Seems most public cellphone calls and text's are gossip and small talk also. What kills me is when they do it while driving.

June 07 2012 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to russroute66's comment
Roof Family

People texting while driving may very likely kill you or me!

June 11 2012 at 4:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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