It’s a good thing that smokers have been banished to huddle outside or in special smoking rooms at work, writes Michael Skapinker of the Financial Times. Not just because it keeps their second-hand smoke away from the rest of us, but because it brings them closer together. Sure, it's bad for their health, but where would office gossip be without smoke breaks?
“Companies spend money on activities such as Outward Bound adventures and cookery classes, hoping to encourage bonding between different departments,” he writes. “Smokers already cross those boundaries.” Out you can see executives talking with security guards, marketers talking with techies, all while puffing away. “It allows for the ‘off the record’ conversations between departments that grease the wheels of business,” says one FT smoker. “I’d be pretty lost without them.”