Shared Group Discourse Impacts on Productivity

The ability for people doing similar tasks to talk together helps with both productivity and retention. A recent analysis at Bank of America demonstrated this dynamic for call centre agents, reinforcing the productivity-driving benefits of strong ties:

Humanyze’s smart work badges contain microphones and and precision positioning technology.


“We’re doing voice analysis in real time,” says CEO Ben Waber. The system looks at how much individuals talk, how loudly they speak, whether they interrupt or sound stressed. “We also look at how much you move around and interact with other teams.”


Bank of America used Humanyze’s technology within its call centers to find out what made employees most productive in terms of numbers of completed calls. Yet it found that the biggest predictor of productivity was how staff spoke to their colleagues. Those with the closest ties to others in their group were more productive and less likely to quit than those who worked alone. The bank added a 15-minute shared coffee break to daily routines: productivity increased by 10 per cent and staff turnover dropped by 70 per cent.

Read more: Why your boss wants to track your heartbeat

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