I never consciously knew this existed until recently, but now I’m aware of it I see it all the time. The actual time of the Twilight Hour varies from organization to organization, from team to team and even from day to day, but it happens, and being part of it can have many benefits.
It is entirely possible that there are several Twilight Hours in a working day, one at the start of the day and one at the end, but I’m only aware of the one at the end of the day (hence the Twilight name).
As people leave for the day, those left behind also start to unwind. The mood turns to reflection and evaluation of the day and plans are formed for the future. Information is exchanged, and the normal barriers of communication are lowered. People from different teams gather, they get up from their desks and share knowledge. There is a lot of power in being part of that knowledge share.
In much the same way that smokers gather and share information, or that people who lunch together share general company knowledge, the Twilight Hour can have the same impact.
As a manager, I’ve shared information with individuals, that whilst not a secret, it was still information that the rest of the team didn’t have at that moment.
I’ve also felt individuals on edge waiting for me to leave. Their twilight gang was ready for a good gossip and I was in the way!
So beware of the Twilight Hour, it can be a force for good in much the same way as many other encouraged company activities (nights out, socials, shared lunches), but with fewer people it can encourage negatives as well (bitchiness, malicious gossip and rumours) and bestow additional knowledge on individuals who perhaps shouldn’t have that information.