Collaborating Over Cigarettes

Michael Skapinker, a non-smoker, touts a benefit of smoking at the office:

Companies spend money on activities such as Outward Bound adventures and cookery classes, hoping to encourage bonding between different departments. Smokers already cross those boundaries. Look at any group congregating for a cigarette: you will see senior executives and security guards, marketing and IT support. Does smoking produce business benefits? “There’s no doubt in my mind that it inspires cross-departmental collaboration,” one FT commercial manager (and smoker) told me. “You get to know people who you otherwise wouldn’t, and get a feel for what they do. If you’ve half a spark of creativity about you you’ll doubtless stumble across an idea you hadn’t thought of before. It also allows for the ‘off the record’ conversations between departments that grease the wheels of business. I’d be pretty lost without them.”

(Hat tip: Atlantic Wire)