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Valeria, We were having this exact discussion at work this week. The cigarette break is one of the few places where information is shared informally across departments and outside of established communication channels. Hence, those individuals seem more connected. But everyone looks for information outside of established channels--whether it is due to the need for multiple source confirmation, the need for contrasting opinions or the need for diversion. Companies with good internal social media platforms deliver this need internally, while those without send everyone outside for their "cigarette break."

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