Show me an office that doesn't have employees who gossip, and it's sure to be one of a kind. Some gossip is less harmful than others, like when workers chat among themselves about possible changes in the company. When something is brewing, it can make everyone feel better to discuss the possibilities together instead of mulling over them alone.
That being said, I think it's safe to say that more gossip is harmful than it is comforting. And any way you spin it, it's tough to call any form of gossiping a productive use of time at the office. Perhaps this is why Montana based online printing company PrintingForLess.com has a no-gossip policy in place.
New hires are required to sign the company's "agreement to values," and one employee recalls the human resources manager explaining, "There’s no back-stabbing here, and no office politics. Gossiping and talking behind someone’s back are not tolerated." It's the first I've heard of an employer taking preemptive action against office gossip. Is it a fair policy?