Grey's Anatomy, American Idol Rule Water Cooler Discussions at the Office
America voted and American Idol rules - at least in the office where about half of the workforce thinks talking about TV improves camaraderie.
But Meredith Grey (right) and the rest of her Seattle Grace cohorts finished a strong second.
A survey by Spherion Corp. released on Tuesday found that the hit reality television talent show American Idol is the most talked-about TV program in the workplace for the second consecutive year.
A whopping 37 percent of 2,800 U.S. workers named the Fox network program as the show they most often discussed at work, up from 35 percent last year, and compared with 17 percent who named Grey's Anatomy.
The shows 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, crime investigation series CSI, and another medical series, House, rounded out the top five.
Both Grey's and Idol continue to enjoy massive popularity and ratings.
The survey found about 1 out of 5 employees engages in some chatter about either American Idol or Grey's Anatomy on company time, with women more likely than men to bring up the shows or discuss their personalities.
The survey also found 44 percent of U.S. workers think talking American Idol or other TV at work increases office camaraderie with 54 percent of younger workers, aged between 18 and 39, backing this.
That should ease employers' concern about wasted time, said Nancy Halverson, Spherion's vice president of talent management.
"As long as employees aren't belting out tunes from their cubicles, or having heated arguments about their favorite contestants, it's difficult to believe that any harm is done," Halverson said.
But older workers disagree, the survey found.
A majority of those over 65 think TV talk doesn't improve camaraderie, and almost half - 47 percent - said they don't talk about TV during work hours.