(Inc.com) - It may seem like everyone you work with spends time standing around the water cooler, talking about the latest contestant to get kicked off “American Idol.” And now there’s evidence to prove it.
According to a new Spherion Workplace Snapshot survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 37 percent of U.S. workers say “American Idol” is the most talked-about TV program in the workplace, up by 2 percent from last year’s results.
Turns out, television talk is an integral part of the office environment. In an online survey of 2,792 employed adults, nearly one-quarter (21 percent) said they have discussed “American Idol” on company time, and 10 percent of respondents admitted getting into debates over the contestants. The survey found that women are more likely than men to discuss TV shows on company time, with 27 percent of women who said they do, compared to 15 percent of men.
Despite taking away from company time, many respondents agreed that discussing TV shows with co-workers can have positive effects. Nearly half — 44 percent — of U.S. workers said TV chatter at work increases office camaraderie. Employees ages 18-24 and 30-39 were the groups most likely to find camaraderie discussing TV shows, at 54 percent for each.
While both men and women ranked “American Idol” as the most talked-about show, the results varied for the second-place slot. The medical soap opera, “Grey’s Anatomy” ranked second among 28 percent of female respondents, and the real-time action show, “24” was the next pick for 15 percent of male respondents.
Other popular shows discussed by both genders in the workplace included “CSI” (10 percent); “House” (8 percent); and “Lost” (8 percent). “The Office,” a comedy starring Steve Carell that emphasizes the absurdity of the office culture, was only talked about by 6 percent of respondents.