Talking politics at work? Most people say no - | WBTV Charlotte

Talking politics at work? Most people say no


This year's election has been one of the most talked about things all year long, but on Election Day should your office be on radio silence?

While a lot of people may be excited about the vote they cast in Tuesday's election, a new survey says you should probably keep the specifics to yourself.

In a new CareerBuilder survey about politics in the workplace, 66% of workers surveyed said they choose not to share their political affiliation at work.

Twenty-eight-percent of those people not only decline to dish, but feel like they need to keep their affiliation secret around the office.

Those workers who keep their political affiliations a secret at work have their reasons.

Sixty-eight percent keep things private because they don't believe politics should be discussed in the office unless it affects their job, and 13 percent say it's because they believe the majority of their co-workers support the opposing party.

So for those 1 out of 3 people that talk about their political leanings - who talks more?

That one goes to the guys.

It seems men are more likely than women to share their political beliefs at work, with 37% of men sharing their affiliation, compared to only 31% of women.

You probably won't find too much political swag around the office, but 2% of workers have U.S. presidential campaign items or decorations on display in their office.

And don't just blame it on the kids, the younger the employee the less likely they are to talk politics. The 35+ crowd is the most likely to get into discussions.

When political conversations turn to controversial topics, things can get heated quickly.

"It is easy for a conversation about politics in the office to become an argument about politics," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, points out. "For the most part, people want to avoid controversy in the office as much as possible. Avoiding discussions of politics may be one way they can do that."

If you are going to partake in office politics, it's important to play by the rules.

Haefner offers the following tips for workers who find themselves in a conversation about politics with their co-workers — and for bosses who believe this may be good advice to pass on to their employees:

  • Find things you agree on. Discussing facts and values you agree upon can help ensure the conversation remains respectful.
  • Deal only with the facts. Exaggerating and spinning facts are common ways to start an argument.
  • Pay attention to their tone and body language. If your coworker becomes quiet or overly defensive, it is best to back off and steer the conversation back to respect and agreement.

If your workplace does decide that politics at the office are A-OK, here are some additional "politics at work talking points" to help ensure you're playing fair.

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