Experts have warned that the deliberate evasion of small talk could lead to a premature or untimely death. A rigorous 5-year study has emphatically proven the mental health benefits of discussing the weather, followed by 20 seconds of unbearable prolonged silence, culminating with some humming or whistling. The empirical findings reveal that subjects, who fail to engage in informal discourse for its own sake, are more likely candidates for an early grave. Functional topics of conversation should be avoided at all costs unless they have been deemed ‘safe’.
“The workplace is the perfect environment to flourish at small talk,” said chat expert Mike Smith. “Good weekend? Can you believe all the sun we've been having? Busy at the moment? These are the classic conversation starters and are best suited to office lifts, canteens and the stationery cupboard. If the balance of the discussion is becoming too informative, we encourage colleagues to immediately stop in their tracks, and revert to closed questions about gloomy skies or potential for snow."