‘Tis the Season: Politics and the Workplace

With just over a month until the election, political discussions are everywhere. It can be pretty exhausting! Social media, television, and even the water cooler. Sometimes it feels like there’s no escape. The office is a place where people share some level of detail about their personal lives. There are photos of kids, spouses, and pets; depending on the employee, there could be marathon medals, movie bobbleheads, sports memorabilia, or any number of other items that speak to the personality of that employee.

This is why it can be hard to draw the line. For some people, political discussions are an extension of sharing their personal life with others. To be sure, it is a slippery slope. Conversations can shift in a political direction without warning, especially this time of year.

How do you handle this? First, you want to make sure your workplace is a professional environment free of harassment. How do you want to handle political discussions among your employees? Is it something you’re ok with, as long as it doesn’t get ugly, or do you want to nix the whole topic completely? You’ll have to find your own comfort level there, but it’s a good idea that everyone refrain from sending political emails around the office or posting candidate posters in the break room.

And what about clients? No doubt, some of your longer-term clients have become very comfortable with you over the years. You may decide that it’s ok to indulge these conversations with like-minded clients while they’re seated in your office, but keep your opinions under wraps in most cases.

How are you handling political discussions at work during this election season? We want to know! Don’t forget to share with your colleagues!