22 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2010
Date Written: January 11, 2010
In this paper we present a two-phase study undertaken to experimentally study in a real world setting the effects of social group strength and how to increase the strength of groups in the workplace. In the first phase of our study we measured interactions between workers at the call center of a large bank based in the United States using Sociometric Badges. We confirmed our hypothesis that the strength of an individual’s social group was positively related to productivity (average call handle time) for the employees that we studied. In the second phase of our study we show that by giving employees breaks at the same time we increased the strength of an individual’s social groups, demonstrating that low-cost management decisions can be used to act on these results.
Keywords: social networks, reality mining, kith, productivity
JEL Classification: C8, M12, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Waber, Benjamin N. and Olguin Olguin, Daniel and Kim, Taemie and Pentland, Alex, Productivity Through Coffee Breaks: Changing Social Networks by Changing Break Structure (January 11, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586375 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1586375