Latvians not too keen on talking at work

Latvians' reputation for being somewhat taciturn appears to be supported by recent Eurostat data on communication in the workplace.

The research measured the amount of time spent on "social tasks" at work – defined as "interactions involving verbal communication for work-related purposes" such as face-to-face conversations, meetings and telephone calls but crucially not written forms of communication such as emails and SMS texts.

In 2022, over two thirds of people aged 15 to 74 years in Malta, France, Austria, and Cyprus spent at least half of their working time on social tasks. The proportion was below a quarter in Latvia, Germany, Greece, and Slovakia. For the EU as a whole, 45.3 % spent at least half of their working time on social tasks.

Notably, Latvia had the highest proportion of people saying they spent "none" of their time at work engaged in verbal communication (16.5%). By this measure, around 145,000 people in Latvia spend their time at work saying absolutely nothing.

Time spent on social tasks at work, 2022
Time spent on social tasks at work, 2022

Both Lithuania and Estonia spent considerably more time on social tasks with the Estonians ranked – perhaps surprisingly – as the chattiest of the three Baltic states. It might be that we Latvians don't like talking, or it might be that we know what we are supposed to be doing and therefore little conversation is required. We will say no more on the subject.

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