Jorgen Fagerquist alerted me to a post on Sweden's clever English-language "The Local," with possibly the best headline of the week, maybe the year, or century, bearing a sentiment that taxpayers everywhere might agree with: "Swedish taxpayers organized by apes." I don't think it's a translation issue.
The article explains:
A reorganization of workers at the Swedish Tax Authority is partly shaped on studies of apes, according to a leaked internal report. Employees are not flattered by the comparison.
Who would be? It continues...
The tax authority is currently undergoing its largest reorganization for many years. One of the foundations of the restructuring plan is a report which says that studies of apes show that people work best in groups of 150.
The military, the Hutterite religious group and hunter-gatherer societies are also examples in which groups have tended to comprise around 150 people.
As does Gore, the company that, among other breakthrough products, brought us Gore-Tex. Its founder, W.L. Gore, made sure that no more than 150-200 people worked in the same building. After that, he said, people can't really know one another. But in that configuration, he believed, human achievement peaks. The company is still organized this way.
Turns out that there's a term for this, Dunbar's Number. It's named after anthropologist Robin Dunbar's work indicating that the number of people with whom one can maintain meaningful connection is in the same range. Take a look at the "simple" Wikipedia description, then twist your mind with this post on Psychology Today, which is a bit over my primitive head.
In any event, think about it. Or, if you have a lot of time on your hands (which is apparent from your reading this post), reflect on whether this rings true. And for the record, the title of this post is all wrong: it's not about your closest friends, which, according to other theories, can't number more than 25. This has to do with the far more serious issue of work. Forget friends. Get back to work.