A Little Trash Talk Among Co-Workers Could Boost Productivity, Study Finds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Trash talk is no longer exclusive to sports.

A new study revealed that talking trash in the workplace actually improves job performance.

As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, Wharton School of Business just released a study that said there’s an increase in productivity when workers trash talk one another.

“I worked in politics for a couple years, so that’s the norm,” one New Yorker said.

It’s not NFL level trash talking, but verbally igniting the competitive juices in a friendly manner.

“I think it’s 100 percent true. I think a joke-y environment promotes laughter,” one salesman said.

The study showed that effort is boosted by 57 percent when trash talk is involved, but it has a negative effect.

“It makes the person getting trash talked feel bad, and drives them a little bit to outperform the other person so they can hit em back,” one worker said.

Taunting inspires anger, which motivates the victim to do anything to win, including stretching ethical boundaries.

“It’s really important and critical for people in the office space to know how this effects their ability to get along with colleagues, to share and collaborate. And it could be really defining in terms of people separating and not willing to work together,” Dr. Leah Lagos said.

At work, ‘trash talk’ is called competitive communication, but it’s really just busting chops.

The Wharton study warned not every environment is suitable for competitive conversation — for instance in the creative world, trash-talking has a negative effect.

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