UK office workers are reluctant to share things of monetary value with their colleagues, a new study has indicated.
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Vodafone found that people have become less generous with things such as food, drink and other consumables.
Many people are reluctant to share things like mugs, earphones and even kisses due to the potential health implications.
“The economic gloom and doom has dampened our generosity somewhat as a nation,” said relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet.
Small treats (46 per cent) remain the things most shared by workers, with office gossip a close second (45 per cent).
In terms of the items people are least likely to share, food (31 per cent) topped the chart, followed by their favourite coffee mug (30 per cent) and details about their private lives (30 per cent).
Ms Sweet said people fear how how gossip will spread round the workplace today, especially with the added power and speed of social networking.
“We like to be in control of what is talked about us, whether at the water cooler or on Facebook, as out-of-control gossip can be damaging to morale and reputation,” she noted.
“However most of us indulge in tittle-tattle-Tweeting, especially after a few drinks at the Christmas office party.”
However some gossip can work well, as many long-term romances evolve out of office ‘dos’ at this time of year, she stated.