We all like to have a good whinge session at work when something really riles us up.
One minute, we have our head in our work - the next, we’re huddling closer to our work wife to get everything we possibly can off of our chest.
Yes, it takes away from our work, but boy does it feel good! And according to new research it actually IS good for us.
Dr Vanessa Pouthier from the University of Melbourne studied a group of nurses and health professionals from a U.S. hospital over the duration of one year to look at how their inter-staff relationships affected their moods.
She found that whinging and joking at work can help build stronger working relationships with colleagues and boost moods!
Dr Pouthier revealed to ABC Radio Perth, “Generally, people don’t think there’s any value to it or they think it has no place in the workplace.
“It helps people to process stress and frustration and you notice palpable changes when team members engaged in both activities.”
Because venting is a bonding activity, it not only helps us get negative emotions off our chest, but helps energise our mood and give us that extra oomph to get through the day.
“It allows people to recognise how similar they are in the challenges they’re facing every day and how they feel about them,” Dr Pouthier continued.
“One of the best things in the team I observed, was that these griping rituals helped doctors and nurses realised they were feeling the same way about situations and they weren’t that different.
“By engaging in those little rituals in their care planning meetings they processed some of that negative energy and left feeling more energised.”
Joking was another very important element of a work environment, with Dr Pouthier explaining, “Coming together to joke about problems can help teams work through them and generate positive emotions in the process. This is important not only for bonding, but also from a cognitive perspective, positive emotions help keep you more open-minded.”
However, before you start thinking that constant whinging is a good thing - hold up!
Venting at work can turn toxic quickly, so there are a few guidelines you should follow to keep the balance.
“You can only gripe about people that are not in the room and you need to externalise the gripe.
“So, the gripe’s target needs to be something everyone can agree on, like the structure in which the team is working, or difficult practitioners working in other services. Never individuals in the team.”
So, next time your boss or another colleague complains about your tendency to vent at work, you’ve got this knowledge up your sleeve!
You can read more about the study HERE.