No one can deny that 2016 has seen one of the most polarizing elections in our nation’s history. With so many strong opinions circulating so quickly and the latest news lying literally in the palms of our hands, it may be tempting to try to convert your coworkers to your camp. But it’s important now more than ever to leave your political opinions at the door. Here’s why...
Coworker Relationships Are Priority
Maintaining good work relationships with coworkers should take priority over political sentiments. Politics are divisive, and it’s crucial to your career to foster and preserve healthy work relationships with teammates. You’ll be working with them long after election day has come and gone, and it’s unfair to create awkwardness over who winds up in office.
You Could Get Fired
Work is not the appropriate place to go on a tangent about political or social opinions. Many of us hold very passionate beliefs, and feel frustrated when we can’t change people’s minds. This passion can come off as unprofessional, which puts your job at risk. Despite free speech rights, your supervisor can terminate you for being too impassioned if they feel your behavior is outside the bounds of your company’s workplace environment policies.
It Takes The Focus Off Work
Letting political discussions get you off topic can impede productivity, so focus on the tasks at hand. Although it’s great to have rapport with your coworkers, election time is a good opportunity to focus on impending deadlines rather than socializing. People come to work to collaborate in hopes of accomplishing specific professional goals. Political discussions can become distractions that hinder our ambition, which takes away from a company’s mission.
If political talk still manages to creep into office conversations, the best solution is to avoid it altogether. If someone says something that you truly feel crosses the line, speak to HR or your manager. Keeping peace and productivity at work is more important than trying to get a point across, so save the political musings for when you’re off the clock.